News / Middle East

Israeli, Palestinian Leaders Welcome Obama Visit

Obama with Netanyahu, second left, Abbas second right, Jordan's King Abdullah II, right, and Egypt's then-President Mubarak, the White House, Sept. 1, 2010.
Obama with Netanyahu, second left, Abbas second right, Jordan's King Abdullah II, right, and Egypt's then-President Mubarak, the White House, Sept. 1, 2010.
Scott Bobb
Officials in Israel and the Palestinian territories Wednesday hailed U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to the region, noting it will be the first trip abroad of his second term and his first visit as president.
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, says the planned visit by President Obama, who stopped in Israel while campaigning for election in 2008, will show the intimate relationship between the United States and Israel.
 
"It will also be an opportunity to talk about the excellent cooperation that exists between our two countries, and of course to discuss some of the challenges that we face – first and foremost the threat posed by the Iranian pursuit of a nuclear weapon," he said.
 
The White House did not announce a date for the visit, but Israeli media said it would be in late March, after Netanyahu is due to form his coalition government.
 
Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told Israeli radio that the trip would focus on two main issues.
 
"First to resume the [Israeli-Palestinian] peace process and create regional support for it, and secondly to build a regional coalition against Iran and its partners," he said, referring to military cooperation between Iran, Syria and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement. Israel says those adversaries have thousands of missiles aimed at its territory and must be contained.
 
Israel's air force last week reportedly attacked a convoy of Syrian missiles said to be heading toward the Lebanese border.
 
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Obama's upcoming visit. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of his Palestine Liberation Organization, said she hopes the visit will bring a new U.S. approach and end the stalemate over the Middle East peace talks.
 
"We hope that it does signal a seriousness of intent in terms of re-engaging in a positive and constructive way... in order to end this Israeli occupation and also to end Israeli impunity and unilateral measures, and to prepare the ground effectively for a just peace," she said.
 
Palestinian officials say they will resume negotiations only if Israel stops building Jewish settlements in the West Bank; Israel says talks should resume without preconditions.
 
A member of the Palestinian negotiating team and senior Abbas adviser, Mohammed Ishtayieh, told Palestinian radio that the Camp David peace talks of 1978 successfully brokered the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty because they were mediated personally by then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
 
If a U.S. president does not involve himself directly in the peace effort, he said, it will fail.
 
Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, told local media that Obama will bring a complex but urgent agenda when he visits the region.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid