Possible to see a Palestinian State: Obama
Without giving a time frame, the US President, Barack Obama, has said a Palestinian State is possible so that people of the region have a better life.world Updated: Jan 27, 2009 16:03 IST
Without giving a time frame, the US President, Barack Obama, has said a Palestinian State is possible so that people of the region have a better life.
"I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state -- I'm not going to put a time frame on it -- that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life," Obama said.
The US president said that the condition of the "ordinary Palestinian in many cases has not improved."
The Israelis and Palestinians need to come back to the negotiating table and the bottom line in all these talks is that "Is a child in Palestinian territories going to be better off? Do they have a future for themselves? And is the child in Israel going to feel confident about his or her safety and security?" Obama said in an interview to the Al Arabiya television news channel.
But this is not going to be easy, he acknowledged.
"That's why we've got George Mitchell going there. This is somebody with extraordinary patience as well as extraordinary skill, and that's what's going to be necessary," Obama said.
Referring to the visit of his Special Middle East Envoy Obama said he has asked him to listen to the Muslim world first. "What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating -- in the past on some of these issues -- and we don't always know all the factors that are involved. So let's listen. He's going to be speaking to all the major parties involved. And he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response," Obama said."Ultimately, we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what's best for them. They're going to have to make some decisions. But I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realise that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people. And that instead, it's time to return to the negotiating table," he said.
Conceding that it's going to be difficult and it's going to take time, Obama said, "I don't want to prejudge many of these issues, and I want to make sure that expectations are not raised so that we think that this is going to be resolved in a few months."
"But if we start the steady progress on these issues, I'm absolutely confident that the United States -- working in tandem with the European Union, with Russia, with all the Arab states in the region -- I'm absolutely certain that we can make significant progress."
First Published: Jan 27, 2009 16:01 IST