Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
May 28, 2009 - 11:00pm

Washington, DC, May 28 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today welcomed President Barack Obama’s statements of strong support for Middle East peace based on the creation of a Palestinian state to live alongside Israel and for a complete freeze to all Israeli settlement activity. President Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met privately at the White House this afternoon before being joined by their delegations, and spoke briefly with reporters afterwards.

President Obama said, "I've been a strong believer in a two-state solution," and emphasized that, "I told Prime Minister Netanyahu… that each party has obligations under the Roadmap. On the Israeli side those obligations include stopping settlements. They include making sure that there is a viable potential Palestinian state.” The President expressed confidence that, “if Israel looks long term -- looks at its long-term strategic interests, that it will recognize that a two-state solution is in the interests of the Israeli people as well as the Palestinians.” He also said that Palestinians must live up to their own commitments including security measures and ending incitement.

President Abbas underscored the commitment of the Palestinian Authority to its Roadmap obligations “from A to Z.” He thanked President Obama and expressed a commitment to work with him and others to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians and in the wider Middle East region.

ATFP also strongly supported Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton’s comments yesterday regarding the unambiguous administration position on need to halt all Israeli settlement activity. Secretary Clinton said that President Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not ‘natural growth’ exceptions. That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly.”

ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, “We warmly welcome our government’s strong support for two states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security. This commitment is greatly bolstered by the clear statements from President Obama and Secretary Clinton that the United States believes Israel must stop settlements. Progress cannot be made without Palestinian efforts to meet their Roadmap security obligations, which are being done, or without Israel honoring its own obligations, including an end to all settlement activity. ATFP is gratified that our government, under the leadership of President Obama, is taking a strong stand on these indispensable requirements for peace.”






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