News / USA

Obama, Kerry Meet Abbas in Push for Peace Talk Progress

President Barack Obama (r) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office at the White House, March 17, 2014.
President Barack Obama (r) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office at the White House, March 17, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to continue pushing forward peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming days, after he and President Barack Obama met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
 
A senior State Department official said late Monday that Kerry and Abbas held a second meeting to "exchange ideas" and discuss possible paths for the peace talks.
 
In the earlier meeting at the White House, Obama urged Abbas to make tough decisions and take risks for peace with Israel.
 
"Its very hard, its very challenging. We're going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we're able to move it forward," said Obama.
 
Abbas said he wants to see Israel carry out the scheduled release of a final group of Palestinian prisoners.
 
"Mr. President, we have an agreement with Israel that was brokered by Mr. Kerry concerning the release of the fourth batch of prisoners and we are hopeful that the fourth batch will be released by the 29th of March because this will give a very solid impression about the seriousness of these efforts to achieve peace," said Abbas.

Obama also pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go ahead with the scheduled release of a final group of Palestinian prisoners by the end of March.

He said all parties would have to compromise in order to achieve peace.

"Its very hard, its very challenging," Obama said. "We're gonna have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we're able to move it forward."

The meeting came ahead of an April 29 target date for a framework agreement from the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

In the West Bank's main cities Monday, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to support Abbas' visit. Demonstrators waved flags and chanted 'We are with you, president!"

Some 1,500 people turned out in the West Bank administrative center of Ramallah, and more than 1,000 in the southern city of Hebron.

Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks ago, but after more than seven months of U.S.-brokered peace talks, there is growing pessimism and acrimony.

There has been little visible progress on narrowing gaps on major issues in the more than six-decade dispute. These include the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, borders and security.

The U.S. hopes a framework deal will prevent the collapse of the peace process and enable negotiations on a final agreement to continue until the end of the year.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: SimonEe
March 19, 2014 7:35 AM
Americans if you can't stand Obama...think about how other countries feel about this fraud. They hate him in Egypt with a passion for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. If you could find anything such as international law written on paper it would be hard to read because America under Obama has already wiped its backside with it along with their "different set of lawyers" that this incompetent talks about. I would never use the Constitution in the analogy above...I have too much respect for it even as an aussie. But hasn't he done all he can to undermine the spirit and intent of your great Constitution.


by: john w burns from: usa
March 18, 2014 5:59 AM
Kerry is a joke along with Obama. we will wind up giving taxpayer dollars to a bunch of muslims who don't want peace.


by: Ali Azam from: Iran
March 18, 2014 12:01 AM
Stephany, we know that the shameful mark of the depravity of Islam has been branded on our foreheads. But not for long. i promise you, not for long. We will take our country back from the corruption and perversion of the Mullahs and the Ayatollahs. Iranians have such a strong love and admiration for Israel like of bigger brother to smaller brother - I swear to you - we do love them and are so proud of them. They are truly God's beloved - they are His People. I am so sorry of what we are doing to them. such a shame. But Not for long now, God willing - not for long


by: Sepehr from: Iran
March 17, 2014 7:10 PM
Kisumi, Iranians are NOT Arab!! We are Persian. Read a little history before commenting please!!

In Response

by: Stephany B. from: CA
March 17, 2014 11:31 PM
you were Persians... with your own peaceful glorious religion, with an Empire of benevolent righteous intellectual enlightenment that went to war with Babylon to restore the House of Israel back to God's Promised Land. But you were conquered and converted to the brutality of Islam. and look at yourself now... you are a parody, a farce..!!


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 17, 2014 1:26 PM
Sacrifices out there can be extreme - Anwar Sadat of Egypt for example. Abbas does not have to make sacrifices for people who do not know what it means or deserve it. Take a look at the prisoners released by Israel - convicted criminals with blood on their hands who had killed, sometimes scores of innocent women and children in cold blood. They are treated humanely in Israeli jails. But soon after they are released, they return to terrorism and re-engage in throwing bombs and rockets at Israel. They learn nothing. Instead they want to prove to their people that nothing has changed in them - not even to learn to speak peace - after all they were dead and were brought back to life by some people who had their fate in their hand and yet did not kill them.

No, they are not the people to make peace with - for they do not know peace, they do not have peace, and they are not capable of living in peace with anyone. Israel wishes to give them a chance even though they do not deserve it, but they want Israel out instead. But instead of Israel to be shown the way out, let the visitors leave. Let the so-called peace deal stop. It's either the Palestinians agree to become part of Israel - in a united states of Israel - or they find their way back to where they originated from. Presently I'm going through their koran to find out what it says about them, but I've not yet found one. Until then, they cannot be allowed to dominate the land that is allotted to another.

In Response

by: G244 from: London
March 19, 2014 8:26 AM
Godwin, this is probably the worst comment I have ever seen relating to this subject. This is why you are wrong:

1) (from The Economist, August 1913) Israeli military order 1651 - 10 years prison for Palestinians for throwing stones at people or at property (there are also, at the time of writing, about 193 minors in jail) - does this seem fair? Would you go as far as claiming that they are all cold-blooded murderers?
2) "They learn nothing" - This is either:
A) a pointless exercise in rhetoric to reinforce your groundless argument
B) you actually believe that it is true, extending a gross generalization to a group of people which you obviously know nothing about. This only reinforcing your own ignorance of course

Now to the central argument of your commentary: that the Palestinians do not seek for peace:
1) UN resolution 194 - granted by the international community, the Palestinian 'right of return' - this was never accepted by Israel
2) The Israeli line of negotiation has not changed since Camp David talks - essentially they pledge only for:
- annulation of the right of return
- keeping their (illegal) occupied territories

The last point is particularly important, and an insult to the international community. Think that Israel's housing minister (Uri Ariel) lives in the West Bank! They control the roads, all the irrigable land, thus making it impossible for the Palestinians to develop a functioning economy if they cannot transport goods and services etc.
3) This shows that Israel has no commitment to compromise, our negotiate, since it will (and has not) deviate from such a policy. Would you call that a commitment for peace?
Then you talk of 'visitors' - are you referring to the Palestinians? You say that they should 'find their way back to where they originated from'. I find this line simply infuriating, and had you not said this, maybe I would have refrained from commenting on this. The Palestinian people, did live in the Palestinian mandate before the birth of the state of Israel. The birth of the state of Israel was the consequence of immigration from Zionists. I do not assert that what Zionists did was wrong, but that Palestinians are 'visitors' is simply not true. And if you refer to to an ancient religious belief that the land of Israel rightfully belonged to the Jewish people you should know that Jerusalem is also a holy site for many Muslims. Besides, Theodor Herzl and the founders of Zionism thought to colonize the Palestinian mandate for political reasons, not on the basis of religious right-hood.

I could say much, much more, but I think I will stop ranting now ...
Just one more thing, please do not look through 'their koran' for answers, open up a history book, do some reasearch ....

In Response

by: Kisumi from: Japan
March 17, 2014 4:58 PM
Godwin, "Palestinians" are just foil for Arabs... and Arabs are Arabs... be it in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia... the problem with Israel is too much liberalism... in fact so much benevolent liberalism that they live like exiles in their own country. Instead of being assertive, Israelis try to accommodate the venomous snake that will kill them. They should take back their territory show the Philistines the door to Jordan and put an end to this charade once and for all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid