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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid