Haaretz
April 9, 2009 - 11:00pm
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077665.html


Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon (Yisrael Beiteinu) said Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama's speech in Turkey earlier this week did not include any support for the Annapolis peace process, Army Radio reported.

Ayalon denounced calls which interpreted Obama's reference to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation launched in Annapolis in 2007 as a warning against the policies of Israel's government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's statement that the new government was not bound by Annapolis understandings.

Speaking before the Turkish parliament on Monday, Obama said that he will "actively pursue" a two-state solution in the Middle East and reiterated the U.S. commitment to the Annapolis process.

"Let me be clear: The United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security," he said. A two-state solution "is a goal that the parties agreed to in the road map and at Annapolis," and that is "a goal that I will actively pursue as president."

For his part, Ayalon said that "Anyone who bothered to pay close attention could see that Obama said nothing in favor of Annapolis."

"Actually, it's the other way around, he said that he hopes both Palestinians and Israelis are committed to the Road Map, as was stated in Annapolis," he added.

The deputy minister added that he "met American officials on Tuesday night, and things aren't quite the way they are portrayed in the newspaper articles, and I think that the Americans noticed the substantial statements made by Lieberman in his inauguration speech, according to which Israel was committed to all the previously ratified agreements, including the Road Map."




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