20-09-2019 01:43 PM Jerusalem Timing

Obama Wants Bibi to Strengthen "Moderate Leadership" in Palestinian Authority

Obama Wants Bibi to Strengthen

US President Barack Obama stated Thursday that his visit to Palestine and the occupied territories was to "listen" to both sides and hear their views on how to move forward in the “peace talks”.

US President Barack Obama stated Thursday that his visit to Palestine and the occupied territories was to "listen" to both sides and hear their views on how to move forward in the “peace talks”.

Obama's visit before electionsSpeaking to “Israel's” Channel 2, only one week before his first visit to the occupied territories since his election as president, Obama said “my goal on this trip is to listen. I intend to meet with Bibi (Netanyahu)... I intend to meet with (Premier Salam) Fayyad and Abu Mazen (President Mahmoud Abbas) and to hear from them what is their strategy, what is their vision, where do they think this should go?"

The US president said he would press both sides to recognize the “legitimate interests of the other.”

"To Abu Mazen, I will say that trying to unilaterally go to, for example, the United Nations, and do an end run around Israel, is not going to be successful," Obama said, adding: “to Bibi (Netanyahu) I would suggest to him that he should have an interest in strengthening the moderate leadership inside the Palestinian Authority...”

"For example, making sure that issues like settlements are viewed through the lens of: Is this making it harder or easier for Palestinian moderates to sit down at the table," he said.

On the peace talks, Obama considered that "we're past the point where we should be even talking about pre-conditions and steps and sequences. Everybody knows what's going to be involved here in setting up two states, side by side, living in peace and security."

"How we get into those conversations, whether they can happen soon or whether there needs to be some further work done on the ground, that's part of what I'll explore when I'll get there," he added.