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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs