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Obama’s Mideast speech insufficient: Palestinians

Posted by on May 25, 2011 0 Comment

Moscow: Palestinian leaders said on Tuesday on a visit to Moscow that President Barack Obama’s recent Mideast speeches have been insufficient and contradictory.

Azzam al-Ahmed, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Fatah faction, described Obama’s endorsement of Israel’s 1967 borders as a “positive signal, which is regrettably insufficient,” adding that subsequent statements by Obama sounded discouraging.

In a speech last Thursday, Obama endorsed the Palestinian position on the borders of their future state, saying it should be based on Israel’s borders before the 1967 Mideast war.

Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the fighting, and the Palestinians claim those areas for their state.

At the same time, Obama reiterated his request that the Palestinians drop their plans to appeal for recognition at the UN this fall.

Al-Ahmed said that the Palestinians believe the move is necessary to overcome a deadlock in peace talks. “We aren’t planning to unilaterally declare independence,” he said.

Obama also raised tough questions about an emerging Palestinian unity government that is to include Hamas.

Earlier this month, Palestinian factions signed a landmark pact to end a longtime rift between the two main Palestinian movements, Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

They also agreed to form a caretaker government. Israel has described the deal as a deadly blow to peace, saying it won’t negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes the Iranian-backed group. Agencies

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