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 British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid