News / Middle East

Palestinian Leader to Visit White House

Palestinian Leader Visits White Housei
Luis Ramirez
March 15, 2014 1:09 PM
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits the White House Monday. Abbas is to meet with President Barack Obama as the U.S. works to come up with a framework for a Mideast peace agreement by the end of April. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Luis Ramirez
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits the White House Monday.  Abbas is to meet with President Barack Obama as the U.S. works to come up with a framework for a Mideast peace agreement by the end of April. 

A street battle this month between Palestinians and Israeli police in Jerusalem and Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip, after militants fired more rockets at Israel.

Scenes like this are the backdrop of yet another U.S. effort to salvage the peace process.

Last month, Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Paris for intense diplomatic talks on the effort.

Now, it's Abbas' turn to come to the White House, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks ago heard President Obama express his hopes for a solution.

“It's my belief that ultimately it is still possible to create two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine in which people are living side by side in peace and security.  But it's difficult and it requires compromise on all sides,” he said.

The framework would create the basis for discussion of the key issues: the creation of a Palestinian state, Israeli settlements in the West Bank, security and the status of Jerusalem.

Both sides lack trust.  And recently Abbas said there was no way the Palestinians would accept recognizing Israel as a Jewish state - a key Israeli demand.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president would press for difficult concessions. 

“He will discuss progress made with President Abbas as he did with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  He will commend President Abbas as he did Prime Minister Netanyahu on the tough decisions that each leader has made thus far in an effort to move the process forward,” he said.

President Abbas has shown signs of flexibility on a longstanding, key issue - the Palestinians insistence that they be given the right to return to areas they fled or were forced to leave when Israel was established in 1948.

"Let's put the issue of refugees on the table.  Because it is an issue that must be resolved, to put an end to the conflict.  So that the refugees can be satisfied with the solution.  But we do not seek and we will not work towards flooding Israel with millions [of refugees] which would change its social composition," he said.

Aaron David Miller was an advisor to U.S. secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations for 25 years.

He said Monday's meeting showed the White House saw an opportunity for progress, but he was not optimistic.

“There were indications at least up until the Netanyahu meeting that the president was increasingly frustrated with the Israelis. This will be a better meeting, but I'm not sure how productive it's going to be," he said.

Despite being preoccupied with events in Ukraine, President Obama sees this as a priority and wants to press on Abbas that time is running out as an April 29th deadline draws near for a framework agreement.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Dr. Maria Croce from: US/Italy
March 16, 2014 3:19 PM
Ariely, trying to speak Hebrew in English sounds dreadful...!!! Hebrew is a Language completely inverted to English. A sentence that makes perfect sense in Hebrew makes absolutely no sense in English. If you try to read the Bible in English you will not recognize the narrative - discrepancies and misunderstandings are rife... yet it makes perfect sense in Hebrew - no contradictions, no misunderstandings...!!
In future, Ariely, Please take that into account.

I am an ardent supporter of Israel as the center of Western thought and liberal ideas.

And by the way, Ariely, we know... Germany knows... and so do the Americans...!!! you just do what you have to do, and be safe.

by: Amin Younasi from: Kabul/Afghanistan
March 16, 2014 10:52 AM
Actually I totally agree with bellow express, definitely the Islamic societies never pursued the violent whether rebels against to others country's.
Undoubtedly Islamist countries have try to reaching the fundamentals solutions way for bright future in the world and world peoples should be life in peaceful inside together but it seems diversity and specific politicians have intervene for these issues and have strictly nutrition from specific intelligency organizations

by: ariely shein from: jerusalem
March 15, 2014 6:12 PM
James Adams said:
""No wise man tries every day what he has proved wrong the day before.""

The western politicians, including Secretary Kerry, misunderstand why the Arabs and Islamists oppose to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and could miss the opportunity to help those in the Arab and Islamsit world willing to live peacefully with all the world cultures.
No- western politicians, you don’t understand the Arabs and Islamists narratives.
No- western politicians, your solutions to the Palestinian Israel conflict do not bring peace not worldwide ( from Phillipins to Paris and not from China to USA) from non Islamic cultures and not Israel.
Yes- western politicians , if you would bother to understand the Arabs and Islamists narratives you will understand that:
---What you call peace they call it temporary truce with the infidels to be broken when they will accumulate more power
--- What is your policy is a sign of weakness, encouragement for more demands and aggression for their quest of worldwide domination.

by: ariely shein from: jerusalem
March 15, 2014 6:10 PM
Before making statements and policy you should know the basics:

1:In order to legitimize their hold on power, Islamist theocrats and pan Arabic's dictatorships need antagonists.
They blame the west for all their structural problems and Israel the land of the Jews.

2: Their goal is that the world will be Islamic because of the ""truth of Islam” needs to be proven true in the real world.
And the proof in the real world begins with the destruction of Israel.

3: Al Jazeera- quote:
"If we say that we want to wipe Israel out its too difficult.
It’s not acceptable policy to say so.
Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.
Everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.""

3: Peace and quiet for Christians and Jews is possible only under Islam wings""
"The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)""
Western politicians you have the key the help changing the above paradigms>

By demanding the Arab and Islamist world to recognize Israel as the Jewish state you will help those who whant to break the violent cycle and open the gate for fundamental changes in the Arab and Islamsit societies.
The changes that will depart from the 7 century values and bring 21 century values of peace and quiet to large parts of the world in ME,Europe,Africa,Asia and America.
Western politicians:
Keep demanding the recognition of Israel as the Jewish state

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs