News / Middle East

Obama Set for Mideast Trip With Low Expectations for Breakthrough

President Barack Obama waves prior to boarding Air Force One before departing form Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, March. 15,  2013.
President Barack Obama waves prior to boarding Air Force One before departing form Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, March. 15, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama departs Washington Tuesday for Israel, the first stop of a four-day Mideast trip also taking him to the West Bank and Jordan. Obama will hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and will discuss Syria and Iran.

President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will greet President Obama on his arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.  All three will deliver remarks.

Then come bilateral talks, beginning at President Peres' residence in Jerusalem and later with Prime Minister Netanyahu, followed by a joint news conference.

Obama is not carrying any new peace initiative on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  That has led some commentators to describe the visit as largely symbolic.

President Obama's Mideast Trip

Israel
-Will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
-Plans to visit Israel's Holocaust memorial and the grave of Yitzhak Rabin
-Will deliver speech to Israeli students
West Bank
-Will meet in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
-Plans to visit Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity
Jordan
-Will meet with King Abdullah
-Plans to visit Petra
In a speech at Jerusalem's International Conference Center Thursday, for which there was fierce public competition for tickets, he is expected to cite his record of strong support for Israel and its security.

But the U.S. president also is expected to say that breaking the stalemate in peace efforts to achieve a two-state solution is becoming even more critical amid sweeping changes in the Arab world.

White House officials say that message is important. 

"In the past, the peace processes with a variety of countries and partners in the region were between Israel and individual leaders," National Security Council official Ben Rhodes said.  "And as you move towards more democratic, more representative and responsive governments, Israel needs to take into account the changing dynamic and the need to reach out to public opinion across the region."

Wednesday's discussions will cover stalled peace efforts, Israeli concerns about Syria's civil war, and the threat posed to Israel by Iran's nuclear program.

"It is really on Iran that the visit will have a lot of import because the president has to convince the Israelis that he has got their back, and the Israelis have to be convinced that he is for real and therefore they should sit on their hands and do nothing," said Dan Serwer, with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
x
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
On Thursday, Obama goes to Ramallah in the Palestinian Authority-governed West Bank.  He will hold talks with President Mahmoud Abbas before a joint news conference and a visit to a youth center.

Neil Kritz of the U.S. Institute for Peace says Obama will focus his messages to Israelis and Palestinians, making the case that peace is in their interests.

"It is important for the president to convey that the U.S. is committed to a two-state solution, to the existence of a state of Palestine, and that this is something that needs to move forward that both sides need to engage on as well as conveying to publics on both sides that compromises will need to be made," Kritz said.

Friday, Obama visits locations that are highly important and emotional, and religiously significant, for Israelis and Jews, Palestinians and Christians.   

He will lay a wreath at the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's prime minister assassinated by a Jewish fanatic in 1995, and Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism.

Obama then visits Yad Vashem, the memorial to the millions of victims of the Holocaust.  He returns to the West Bank to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The president concludes his trip in Jordan, where White House officials say he will discuss Syria, refugee flows, and political and economic reforms with King Abdullah.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ali from: TURKEY
March 20, 2013 3:49 AM
Grandfather=England
Son=USA
Grandson=Israel
It is normal of these counntries support each other.


by: Roy Pacheco from: Canada
March 19, 2013 2:52 PM
Such a waste of money and time,when all negotiations can be acomplished in Washington!
A futile effort!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid