Obama tells Abbas risks for peace are needed

2014-03-17 20:49
(Saul Loeb, AFP)

(Saul Loeb, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US President Barack Obama on Monday told Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas that both he and Israeli leaders must make tough political decisions and take "risks" for peace.

Meeting Obama at the White House, Abbas said a scheduled Israeli release of a fourth tranche of Palestinian prisoners by 29 March would show how serious Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was about extending peace talks.

"As I said to Prime Minister Netanyahu when he was here just a few weeks ago, I believe that now is the time... to embrace this opportunity," Obama said as he met Abbas in the Oval Office.

"It is very hard, very challenging. We are going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we able to move forward," Obama said.

The US leader was seeking to secure Abbas's agreement on a US framework to extend peace talks, which have so far lasted seven months but not made tangible progress, past an end-of April deadline.

He said that everyone already understood the shape of an "elusive" peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, saying it would be based on 1967 lines with mutual land swaps.

Abbas did not directly address the Israeli government's demand for the Palestinians to recognise Israel as a "Jewish" state.

He noted, through a translator, that the Palestinians had recognised Israel's legitimacy in 1988 and in "1993 we recognised the state of Israel".

Abbas also noted the agreement that the Palestinians have with Israel on the release of a fourth batch of prisoners by 29 March.

"This will give a very solid impression about the seriousness of the Israelis on the peace process."

Israeli ministers said last week that they would have difficulty approving the release if agreement was not reached to extend the peace talks.

Israel committed to the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners in four tranches when talks were launched in July.

It has so far released 78 of those in three batches, with Palestinians demanding the fourth - scheduled for later this month - also include Arab Israelis.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mahmoud abbas  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  barack obama  |  israel  |  us  |  palestine

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Heyneke unveils his USA plan
Lancaster, Robshaw consider their futures
Foley destroys England's dream
Boks continue upward curve
Traffic Alerts

Spontaneity is the order of the day. Let go and have some fun. Try not to set too many set plans and expectations and enjoy the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.