News / USA

Obama Urges Global Support for Mideast Peace Efforts

Multimedia

Audio

U.S. President Barack Obama called on the global community Thursday to rally behind U.S.-led efforts for a solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within a year.  In his U.N. General Assembly address, the president also called on Iran to confirm the peaceful intent of its nuclear program.

The annual address to the General Assembly by the U.S. president is normally a wide-ranging compilation of the nation's foreign policy themes.  Mr. Obama put unusual stress, though, on the U.S.-brokered direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that began early this month and aim at a two-state peace accord with a year.

The talks face an early hurdle amid Palestinian threats to walk out if Israel fails to extend a 10-month moratorium on most West Bank settlement activity that expires in a week.  President Obama reiterated U.S. calls for an extension.  He also appealed to Arab governments to actively support the peace process.

President Barack Obama's speech on Middle East peace process:

"Those who have signed on to the Arab Peace Initiative should seize this opportunity to make it real by taking tangible steps toward the normalization that it promises Israel," said the president.  "And those who speak on behalf of Palestinian self-government should help the Palestinian Authority politically and financially, and in so doing, help the Palestinians build the institutions of their state."

The President said the rights of the Palestinians can be won only by peaceful means.  He added that those who long to see an independent Palestine must "stop trying to tear down Israel."

"Efforts to chip away at Israel's legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States," said President Obama. "And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people.  The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance, it's  injustice.  Make no mistake - the courage of a man like [Palestinian] President [Mahmoud] Abbas - who stands up for his people in front of the world under very difficult circumstances - is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children."

President Barack Obama's speech on Iran:

On Iran, Mr. Obama said Tehran had failed to respond to what he called the "extended hand" he offered a year ago for dialogue on the country's nuclear program.  He said the U.N. Security Council sanctions, approved in June, make clear that the application international law with regard to Iran is not an empty promise.

Nonetheless, President Obama stressed that the continued readiness of major world powers, reaffirmed by their foreign ministers here on Wednesday, to resolve the issue through dialogue.

"Now let me be clear once more.  The United States and the international community seek a resolution to our differences with Iran, and the door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it.  But the Iranian government must demonstrate a clear and credible commitment, and confirm to the world the peaceful intent of its nuclear program."

A senior U.S. official said Wednesday there are signs Iran might be ready to resume a nuclear dialogue during the next few months, but that Tehran had not confirmed its intentions to the European Union.

In his 33-minute address, Mr. Obama drew applause when defending women's rights and urging nations to act against oppression, saying that concerned countries must not stand idly by when dissidents elsewhere are imprisoned and protestors are beaten.

The president was several minutes late arriving in the assembly hall and Switzerland took the traditional U.S. position on the speakers list, after Brazil.

Mr. Obama has a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines General Assembly session with, among others, the leaders of China, Japan and Colombia.  He is expected to take part in a group meeting on Friday aimed at advancing peace efforts in Sudan.

President Obama's remarks on Middle East peace process:

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More