May 29th

Obama tells Israel to halt expansion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House yesterday with an invaluable welcoming gift: a toughly worded, categorical US demand for Israel to stop expanding settlements in the West Bank. But hours before the two men met, the Israeli government flatly rejected the demand. Spokesman Mark Regev said that "normal life in those communities must be allowed to continue," including some construction.

Palestinians laud 'shared vision' with Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Saeb Erekat says Palestinians encouraged by Obama administration's commitment to peace in the Middle East; Chief Palestinian negotiator says Israel's credibility undermined 'over failure to live up to previous obligations'

The Big Question: What are Israeli settlements, and why are they coming under pressure?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Why are we asking this now? Because the US administration appears to be serious about getting Israel to freeze Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank. Previous US administrations said they wanted a freeze but in practice allowed Israel to continue with at least some building. How did the settlements come about?

Why a Jewish Settlement Freeze Has Become the Defining Issue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Daoud Kuttab - May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The demand by the Obama administration for the Israelis to fully and completely freeze all settlement activities has become a point of contention between the US and Israel for a number of reasons.

Kerry to Al Hayat: Change in Iraq has worked counter to American interests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The current Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the former presidential candidate Senator John Kerry assured that when President Barack Obama “referred to the Islamic Republic of Iran for a reason—to recognize publicly the legitimacy of the current governance, and to find a way to try to move forward to talk about the issues that are important between us.” He added that this is “the opening to a new security arrangement, and we want to work on it.”

Israeli policy is a disaster in the making
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

It is important that the international community comes to realise the dangers posed by the current Israeli policy towards Palestinians which precludes any prospect of peace. The direction adopted by the Israeli government is actually a disaster in the making that will affect the entire region.

US stand on settlements could bolster Abbas’s hand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Steven Stanek - May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama was scheduled yesterday to host the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, for a round of talks at the White House, hoping to prop up a much weakened leader the United States views as crucial to implementing the two-state solution. The visit by Mr Abbas comes at a critical time, in the wake of Mr Obama’s sit-down last week with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and as the US president attempts to revitalise a peace process he sees as essential to improving stability in the broader Middle East.

Obama 'confident' on two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama says he is confident that Israel will recognise that a two-state solution is in the best interests of its security. Speaking after White House talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Mr Obama again urged Israel to freeze settlement expansion. Israel has insisted it will allow existing settlements to expand, despite pressure from Washington. President Obama also said Palestinians must rein in anti-Israeli violence.  

Palestinian negotiator: We are encouraged by Obama-Abbas meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinians' top negotiator on Friday said he was "encouraged" following President Mahmoud Abbas' White House meeting on Thursday with U.S. President Barack Obama. "Palestinians are encouraged by the commitment President Obama and his administration have shown to Middle East peace," Saeb Erakat said in a statement early Friday.

Israeli police shut Palestinian literature festival in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli police shut down a Palestinian theatre in East Jerusalem on Thursday, forcing foreign writers taking part in an international literature festival to move elsewhere for the second time in a week. The police action was the latest in recent weeks against what Israel sees as attempts by the Palestinian Authority to host political activities in the city, where both sides in the conflict have staked claims to have their national capital.

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