Tags: Barack Obama | Benjamin Netanyahu | Israel | Palestinians

Obama: Chance of Israel-Palestinian Peace 'Seems Very Dim'

Obama: Chance of Israel-Palestinian Peace 'Seems Very Dim'
(Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages/APA/Landov)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:34 AM

President Barack Obama has declared that the likelihood of an Israel-Palestinian peace accord "seems very dim" in the light of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments before his country's election.

"What we can't do is pretend there's a possibility of something that's not there," Obama said at a news conference with visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. "For the sake of our own credibility, I guess we have to be honest about this."

The president said his administration was now assessing "how we manage Israeli-Palestinian relations over the next several years," according to The Washington Post.

Obama's remark was seen as a stern rebuke following a statement by Netanyahu before the Israeli election last week that there would never be a Palestinian state while he was the head of the government, which was seen as aimed at winning the vote of the extreme right.

The president noted that Netanyahu had issued a series of "correctives" since his victory, but Obama says he "took him at his (original) word" as did "a lot of voters inside Israel."

"Afterwards, he pointed out that he didn't say ‘never,' but there would be a series of conditions," Obama said. "But, of course, the conditions were such that they would be impossible to meet anytime soon."

Obama said Netanyahu's remarks further damaged longtime efforts by the United States to end the discord and may result in "a reaction by the Palestinians that, in turn, could elicit a counter-reaction by the Israelis."

"That could end up leading to a downward spiral of relations that would be. . . bad for everybody," he said, according to the Post.

Netanyahu has also angered the White House by denouncing Obama's plan for a nuclear deal with Iran to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons.

But Obama told the news conference: "People are going to be able to lift up the hood and see what's in there. So, I have confidence that if there's an agreement, it's going to be a good agreement."

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President Barack Obama has declared that the likelihood of an Israel-Palestinian peace accord "seems very dim" in the light of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments before his country's election.
Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Palestinians
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2015-34-25
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:34 AM
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