Obama 'Still Confident' of PA Country But UN Appeal a 'Mistake'
U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters in London Wednesday that he is still confident the Palestinian Authority will get its own state.
But, he said, it's a mistake for the PA to attempt to create that new country through an appeal to the United Nations. He reiterated, as he did in his Middle East policy speech, that the resolution of the conflict rests on four points -- permanent borders, Israel's security, Jerusalem and the disposition of the Palestinian refugees and their generations of descendants. The last two points, he added, were "extraordinarily emotional" and would demand "wrenching concessions." He did not specify from whom the concessions would need to be made.
Obama met with journalists at a joint news conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron following a private meeting between the two.
“My goal, as I set out in a speech I gave last week,” said Obama, “is a Jewish State of Israel that is safe and secure and recognized by its neighbors, and a sovereign State of Palestine in which the Palestinian people are able to determine their own fate and their own future.
“I am confident that can be achieved,” he said.
But then he added a warning, “For the Palestinians to take the United Nations route rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake.”
He also noted that it is unrealistic for Israel to be expected to sit down with a PA government that includes Hamas, which has refused to recognize Israel's right to exist, and has not renounced violence, Reuters reported.
Both Obama and Cameron also agreed that it is time for Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi to end his 41-year regime.
“It is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi still in power,” commented Cameron. “He must go.”