Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington, DC, Sept. 22 – The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) welcomed today’s trilateral meeting at the UN General Assembly between President Barack Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ATFP reiterated its strong support for President Obama’s Middle East peace initiative, and urged the administration to continue to spare no effort in pressing for an Israeli settlement freeze in the occupied territories and the resumption of permanent status negotiations. The Task Force also welcomed the President’s announcement that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would be returning to Washington next week for further talks with US Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell and that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would be reporting to the President in mid-October on the status of negotiations.

In his statement after his bilateral meetings with both leaders and before the trilateral meeting, President Obama reiterated the US commitment to “two states, Israel and Palestine, In which both the Israeli and Palestinian people can live in peace and security and result in better life for themselves and their future.” He emphasized that, “in the interests of the United States,” “it is absolutely critical we get this issue resolved.” The President says that, “Palestinians have strengthened their efforts on security, but they need to do more to stop incitement and to move forward with negotiations.” He said that Israelis have “discussed important steps to restrain settlement activity,” but “need to translate these discussions into real action on this and other issues.” President Obama stated that, “Despite all the obstacles, despite all the history, despite all the mistrust, we have to find a way forward,” and that, “Success depends on all sides acting with a sense of urgency.”

ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, “We support President Obama’s peace efforts and commend his commitment and seriousness of purpose. The President is right to say that resolving this issue is absolutely critical, not just for the Palestinians and Israelis, but also for the United States as well. It is regrettable that no agreement has been reached on a settlement freeze but we appreciate that the President has expressed his resolve and made a political determination to proceed soon to permanent status negotiations.”


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