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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid