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Obama outlines US policies on Mideast

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, May 20, 2011
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US president Barack Obama has addressed the nation with his first comprehensive comments on the unrest sweeping many countries in the Arab world. He pledges the US support for reforms in the Middle East and North Africa.


Obama has also presented his most detailed vision yet on the path to elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace.

He says any agreement creating a Palestinian state must be based on borders that existed before the 1967 Mideast war, but "with mutually agreed swaps" of land.

President Barack Obama, in his much-anticipated speech, hailed popular unrest sweeping the Middle East as a "historic opportunity" and said promoting reform is his administration's top priority for a region caught up in unprecedented upheaval.

Obama voiced the wish to reset relations with the Middle East. He unveiled new economic aid packages to bolster political AND economic transitions in the region. They included relieving up to 1- billion-U.S.- dollar debt and guaranteeing another 1 billion dollars in loan for Egypt.

Barack Obama, US president, said, "We have asked the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to present a plan at next week's G-8 summit for what needs to be done to stabilise and modernise the economies of Tunisia and Egypt. Together, we must help them recover from the disruptions of their democratic upheaval, and support the governments that will be elected later this year."

On the recent tension between the Israelis and Palestinians, Obama said that the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all disputes is "more urgent than ever."

Obama also called on both sides to negotiate a two-state solution. He endorsed the Palestinian demand that the borders of its future state be based on the 1967 lines and prodded Israel to accept that it can never have a truly peaceful nation that is based on "permanent occupation."

The US president also cautioned that the recent power-sharing agreement between the mainstream Palestinian Fatah faction led by Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas movement, which rules Gaza, "raises profound and legitimate" security questions for Israel.

Obama also rejected a push by the Palestinians for U.N. recognition of a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem late this year. He warned symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the UN in September won't create an independent state."


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