News / USA

US, Israel Differ on Peace Plan; Palestinians Seek UN Help

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, May 20, 2011
President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, May 20, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say that differences remain over the path to Mideast peace.

The two leaders commented after holding talks at the White House on Friday. Netanyahu said Israel is willing to make concessions with Palestinians, who have been seeking statehood.  However, he said Israel could not go back to the borders that it had before the 1967 Six-Day War.  He said those lines would now be "indefensible."  Obama proposed Israel consider returning to the pre-war borders - with conditions - in a speech on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Palestinians say they will move ahead with plans to seek U.N. recognition of a state in the West Bank.  The Associated Press quotes a senior official, Nabil Shaath, as saying Netanyahu's comments make it clear that he is not a partner for peace. U.S.-mediated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled in September.

On Thursday, Obama told a U.S. State Department audience that the conditions under which Israel could return to the pre-war borders of 1967 would be mutually agreed swaps with the Palestinians so that secure and recognized borders could be established for both states. Palestinians had embraced Obama's remarks.

Map of Israeli pre-1967 borders

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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