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Obama vows to seek 'durable' Mideast peace in Abbas call

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:31 AM
Original message
Obama vows to seek 'durable' Mideast peace in Abbas call
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) US President Barack Obama promised to work towards a "durable peace" in the Middle East during a phone call to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said.

Obama called the Palestinian leader a day after taking the oath of office and assured him that he intended "to work with him as partners to establish a durable peace in the region," Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.

Obama told Abbas that the president was the first foreign leader he called since taking office, Rudeina said.

"This is my first phone call to a foreign leader and I'm making it only hours after I took office," Rudeina quoted Obama as telling Abbas.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jhDr...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Obama tells Abbas he's committed to achieving Mideast peace
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"Obama reiterated that he and his administration will work in full partnership with President Abbas to achieve peace in the region," said Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator in peace talks with Israel. In Jerusalem, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he was not immediately aware whether Obama, who has pledged to pursue Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts early into his administration, also had telephoned the Israeli leader.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057484.html
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. Israel Looks To Hold On To Close US Ties Under Obama
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"But a Netanyahu government risks clashing with the new American administration on issues as important as the settlements or Iran," said political pundit Akiva Eldar.

"Barack Obama has always said he opposes settlements, which is a key plank of the Likud manifesto," noted Eldar, who specializes in the Jewish colonies on occupied Arab land.

The expected appointment of retired senator George Mitchell as Washington's Middle East envoy is "significant," he added.

---

It called for confidence-building measures between Israel and the Palestinians, a return to the negotiating table and a total freeze on Jewish settlement on occupied land, which Netanyahu's Likud party totally rejects.

http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=...
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. This was a good call
Obama also made clear that he is not giving in to terrorism or countries that 'sow conflict"

I thought these lines of his speech were very good:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Israel fears Obama
A senior Israeli minister on Wednesday urged his countrymen not to fear the new US president, in remarks that once again highlighted the gulf between Israeli and world perceptions of Barack Obama.

The inauguration on Tuesday of Mr Obama has been greeted with huge enthusiasm in the US and around the globe, not least because of the widespread discontent with his predecessor, Georg W. Bush. In Israel, however, the arrival of the new president has sparked concern that Mr Obamas administration may prove less supportive of the Jewish state than the staunchly pro-Israel Mr Bush.

The concerns have been exacerbated by Israels three-week military offensive against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. In a move that was interpreted by some Israeli officials as a sign of coming turbulence, the US refused to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire after 13 days of war. The Israeli government had urged the US to block the diplomatic move, but eventually only managed to get the US to abstain.

One particularly sensitive point is Mr Obamas professed readiness to engage with Iran, a country whose nuclear programme is regarded by Israel as an existential threat.

But Haim Ramon, a vice prime minister and close ally of Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, told Israeli radio on Wednesday: Lets not fear President Obama.

In a reference to the broader search for peace in the Middle East, Mr Ramon added: I am convinced that President Obama and his team want to achieve what is essential to Israel - two states for two peoples.

Israeli leaders have been careful not to antagonise the incoming administration, not least, some analysts say, by ensuring that the Gaza offensive came to a close before Mr Obamas inauguration.

In official statements, the government has extended a warm welcome to the new president, with Mr Olmert declaring on Tuesday that the United States deep and abiding ties with Israel will strengthen further under Mr Obamas leadership.

But analysts point out that the new US president may indeed prove harder to deal with for Israel. We have a lot of reasons to believe that his positions are much more balanced than what we are used to from US politicians, especially on Palestinian-Israeli relations, says Roni Bart, a fellow at Israels Institute for National Security Studies and an expert on the countrys relationship with the US.

Mr Bart points to several instances in which Mr Obama has departed from the broad pro-Israel consensus among US politicians from his critical views on Israels West Bank barrier to his reference to a cycle of violence in the Middle East, a phrase that contrasts with Israeli claims that it is merely responding to Palestinian violence in acts of self-defence.

Another reason for Israeli concern, says Mr Bart, is Mr Obamas widely and proudly pronounced intention to engage directly and bilaterally with Iran, which Israel views as an approach that is nave if not dangerous.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7ba107ca-e7c7-11dd-b2a5-00007...
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Did you actually listen to Obama's speech?
He plans to be fair minded, but he is not abandoning Israel, even if you would like to see that policy.

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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I heard his speech, and in no way mentioned Obama should abadon Israel
as you want to project...but the quote you put in your post applies equally to Israel.
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subsuelo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Why must you insist on projecting how you think others see things?
This is the kind of thing people around here are sick and tired of.

On behalf of all the participants here who are sick of it, I ask you:

Please cut it out.

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