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Obama to Tell Israel: Form New Peace Policy By July

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2 Jun 09 | Ha’aretz and FT

United States President Barack Obama intends to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu four to six weeks to provide an “updated position” regarding construction in West Bank settlements and the two-state principle.

Obama made a surprise appearance on Tuesday at a meeting Defense Minister Ehud Barak was holding in Washington, shortly before the U.S. leader was set to leave on a five-day trip to the Middle East.

Obama spoke for about 15 minutes with Barak, who was meeting with National Security Adviser General Jim Jones at the time. While Obama’s official schedule did not include a meeting with Barak, he has in the past dropped into other officials’ meetings with international figures. >>>

Netanyahu pressed to resist U.S. line on settlers

Benjamin Netanyahu is facing mounting pressure at home, including from within his own government, to stand firm against U.S. calls for an end to the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

With the U.S. administration increasing its pressure by the day, Israel’s prime minister has won the overwhelming support of fellow ministers and party colleagues for his stance. Speaking this week, Mr Netanyahu said his government “will not agree to freeze life in the settlements” – rejecting the latest plea by Barack Obama, the U.S. president, for a complete halt to the growth of settlements.

At the same time, members of his rightwing coalition government have told the Israeli leader that accepting the U.S. demands would threaten the survival of his three-month-old administration.

Yuli Edelstein, the information minister and a member of Mr Netanyahu’s own Likud party, applauded the prime minister’s stance so far, but said “it is obvious that there is no coalition that would agree to this [total settlement freeze]”, the minister told an Israeli newspaper. >>>

RELATED:

United States President Barack Obama intends to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu four to six weeks to provide an “updated position” regarding construction in West Bank settlements and the two-state principle.

Obama made a surprise appearance on Tuesday at a meeting Defense Minister Ehud Barak was holding in Washington, shortly before the U.S. leader was set to leave on a five-day trip to the Middle East.

Obama spoke for about 15 minutes with Barak, who was meeting with National Security Adviser General Jim Jones at the time. While Obama’s official schedule did not include a meeting with Barak, he has in the past dropped into other officials’ meetings with international figures.

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Written by Editors

2 June 2009 at 10:47 pm

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