U.S. President Barack Obama said Palestinians should not seek the United Nations’ help in establishing a state, but should rather negotiate directly with the Israelis.
Speaking in London during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama said: I strongly believe that for Palestinians to take the United Nations route rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake,
Obama added: The United Nations can achieve a lot of important work, what it is not going to be able to do is deliver a Palestinian state. The only way to see a Palestinian state is if Palestinians and Israelis agree on a just peace.
Cameron agreed with this view.
We don't believe the time for making a decision about the U.N. resolution [on Palestinian statehood] -- there even isn't one there at the moment -- is right yet,” he told reporters.
We want to discuss this within the European Union and try and maximize the leverage and pressure that the European Union can bring frankly on both sides to get this vital process moving.”
However, Obama warned that a peace deal between Israel and Palestinians is now “more urgent than ever.
Still, President reiterated that he thinks a peaceful resolution and a two-state compromise can be accomplished.
My goal, as I set out in a speech I gave last week, is a Jewish state of Israel that is safe and secure and recognized by its neighbors and a sovereign state of Palestine in which the Palestinian people are able to determine their own fate and their own future, Obama said.
I am confident that can be achieved.
Obama added that the Palestinians should accept that they need to make concessions.
I don't want the Palestinians to forget that they have obligations as well and they are going to have to resolve, in a credible way, the meaning of this agreement between Fatah and Hamas if we are to have any prospect of peace moving forward, he said.
Hamas, the militant Palestinian Islamic group that controls Gaza, should have no place in negotiations, Obama warned, unless they gave up violence and recognized Israel’s right to exist.
Referring directly to Hamas, Obama said: It is very difficult for Israelis to sit across the table and negotiate with a party that is denying their right to exist and has not renounced the right to send missiles and rockets into your territory.”
The President laid out four major themes to the peace process: territorial boundaries, Israeli security, the Palestinian refugee S and Jerusalem.
The latter two, he admitted, were extraordinarily emotional and would need wrenching concessions.
Both Obama and Cameron are united in their belief in the maintenance of Israel’s security.