Mideast Conflict: Obama expects no Peace Accord before White House Exit
United States President Obama conceded he does not expect a peace accord between Palestinians and Israelis before the end of his tenure as US President but renewed his support to the two-state solution.
“I am not that hopeful that it’s going to happen in the next nine months. It’s been 60 years; it’s not going to happen in the next nine months,” Obama said before Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative in Argentina on Thursday.
It has been floating that the Obama administration is looking to broker new talks between Palestinians and Israelis after previous attempts to snatch a dialogue between the two rival sides failed in 2014.
However, Obama sounded optimistic of a solution stressing that only two-state solution could end distrust and division and restore peace in the region.
“There’s been talk about a one-state solution or sort of a divided government. It’s hard for me to envision that being stable, there’s such deep distrust between the two peoples right now,” he said before adding “and the neighborhood is in such a mess that I continue to believe that a two-state solution is the best way. Now, over time that could evolve.”
“I continue to believe that the only way to resolve this issue is to have an Israeli predominantly Jewish state that is secure and safe, side by side with a sovereign and contiguous Palestinian state,” he said.
“I think the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own and self-determination is too strong to be denied. And I also think that the Jewish people, given their history, have to feel that they have a state that they are secure with, and that they can preserve from aggression,” he said, vowing that even after the end of his tenure he will “continue to try to promote that peaceful dialogue. “
At a joint press conference he held earlier with his Argentinian counterpart Mauricio Macri, President Obama brought up the Brussels attacks, saying that the terrorist Islamic State group tops his agenda and vowed to continue fighting it until it is destroyed.
He explained that fighting IS requires an “intelligent” strategy not “carpet-bombing.”
“We will continue to go after ISIL until it’s removed from Syria and Iraq and destroyed,” Obama said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.
“There’s no more important item on my agenda than going after them and defeating them. The issue is how do we do it in an intelligent way,” Obama said.