June 7, 2012 - 12:00am

The United States on Wednesday denied statements attributed to President Barack Obama against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a senior Palestinian official said.

"The White House has officially presented clarifications to the Palestinian leadership on Obama's statements related to Abbas commitment to the Middle East peace process," said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Earlier reports had said that Obama made statements that Abbas does not have good intentions to achieve peace with Israel and he is not committed to the peace process.

"The clarifications said: what was attributed to Obama was totally untrue and President Obama has never accused President Abbas that he is not committed to the peace process," Erekat told the state-run Wafa news agency.

He added that Obama renewed his commitments to continuing exerting every possible effort to push forward the stalled peace process in the Middle East.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Palestinian leadership requested an explanation from Washington for comments attributed to Obama against Abbas.

"We sent an official request to the American administration to verify these remarks and the motives behind them," Erekat told Xinhua earlier.

An Israeli newspaper reported that Obama told Orthodox Jewish leaders Tuesday that the Palestinians seem to be not interested in a peace agreement and that opportunities for a deal are becoming far.

The negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians stopped in 2010 due to differences on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Erekat denied that the Obama administration has presented new ideas to revive the peace process.

He reiterated that Israel must stop the settlement building and recognize that the Palestinian state would be established on the territories that it occupied in 1967 before the negotiations resume.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017