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Middle East crisis an impediment to host of issues: Obama

US President has said that the absence of peace between Israel and Palestine is an impediment to a whole host of other areas of increased cooperation and more stable security for people in the region as well as the United States.

world Updated: May 29, 2009 11:16 IST

US President Barack Obama has said that the absence of peace between Israel and Palestine is an impediment to a whole host of other areas of increased cooperation and more stable security for people in the region as well as the United States.

This is the reason why he is aggressively pushing for a lasting resolution to the decades-old conflict in the region; where peace can be achieved through the two-State solution.

"So I want to see progress made, and we will work very aggressively to achieve it," Obama told reporters replying to a question at media availability at the Oval Office along with the visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"I don't want to put an artificial timetable, but I do share President Abbas's feelings, and I believe that many Israelis share the same view that time is of the essence, that we can't continue with the drift, with the increased fear and resentments on both sides, of the sense of hopelessness around the situation that we've seen for many years now," the US President asserted.

"We need to get this thing back on track, and I will do everything I can and my administration will do everything it can. My special envoy George Mitchell is working as diligently as he can, as is my entire national security team, to make sure that we jump-start this process and get it moving again," Obama said.

Abbas said the two leaders discussed the necessity to have two States. "We also talked about the importance of achieving peace through negotiating all permanent status issues.

Obviously, without discussing and negotiating permanent status issues, there will be no progress. We know that all the fixed issues of permanent status were discussed with the previous Israeli Prime Minister Mr Olmert. What is needed right now is to resume the discussions with the current Israeli government," he said.

Asserting that "time is of the essence", the Palestinian President said: "We should capitalise on every minute and every hour in order to move the peace process forward, in order to cement this process, in order to achieve the agreement that would lead to peace."