Home > Featured > Obama says not giving up on stalled Mideast peace talks but settlement activity not helping | The AP via The Washington Post, The Guardian

Obama says not giving up on stalled Mideast peace talks but settlement activity not helping | The AP via The Washington Post, The Guardian

By The Associated Press

RAMALLAH, West Bank — President Barack Obama urged Israelis and Palestinians on Thursday to get back to peace talks but offered no new ideas on how they might do so, essentially abandoning his previous support of the Palestinian demand for Israel to halt settlement activity before negotiations resume.

In remarks likely to disappoint, if not infuriate, the Palestinians, Obama said the United States continues to oppose the construction of Jewish housing on land claimed by the Palestinians but stressed that issues of disagreement between the two sides should not be used as an “excuse” to do nothing.

For more on this story, visit: Obama says not giving up on stalled Mideast peace talks but settlement activity not helping – The Washington Post.

When President Obama first entered the presidency, great expectations had been raised by the campaign catchwords of “hope and change”. One of the US policy areas this extended to was the Palestinian/Israeli peace process: in 2010, Obama said that a Palestinian state was a realistic goal within a year.

In practice, that objective is no closer today than it was in 2008, and arguably is further away. So, is there any real chance now of serious peace negotiations? And can Obama be helpful in restarting the peace process?

Ask the people concerned – Israelis and Palestinians – and the answer is no, on both counts.

For more on this story, visit: Obama talks peace, but Palestinians and Israelis more sceptical than ever | Harry J Enten | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

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