State of the Union 2013: Obama's Israel expectations game
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Josh Gerstein - February 12, 2013 - 1:00am

President Barack Obama’s domestic audience isn’t much interested in foreign policy Tuesday night - and if they are, it’s more about Iran and now North Korea than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But his global audience is eager for him to dive back in to an issue that Europeans and many moderate Arab leaders see as a rallying cry for extremism and anti-American sentiment. Their biggest worry: they see any hope for peace slipping away.

Obama's Israel visit itinerary released
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Itamar Eichner - February 12, 2013 - 1:00am

Jerusalem and Washington have set the itinerary for President Barack Obama visit to Israel. Obama is scheduled to land in Ben Gurion International Airport around noon on Wednesday, March 20.  

PLO officials say expectations low for Obama visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 12, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian officials said Tuesday that the upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama is unlikely to aid the peace process. Obama plans to visit the region in spring, a White House official said last week, in his first trip to the region since taking office. Secretary-General of Palestinian People's Party Bassam al-Salhi told Ma'an that the visit may create the "illusion" of returning to negotiations, but would have no impact on the peace process as Israel has consistently violated its principles, with US complicity.

Palestinian Spokeswoman Urges Obama: Don’t Miss Opportunity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - (Interview) February 12, 2013 - 1:00am

  TML:  Nour, how did you get into this position? It’s the first time that a woman is carrying this weight…  

Arabs Look for Decisive Obama in Palestinian-Israeli Negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Michel Abu Najm - February 11, 2013 - 1:00am

Following the announcement that US President Barack Obama will visit Israel and Palestine for the first time next spring, Arab ministerial sources warned Asharq Al-Awsat that the US president has only a short window to advance peace. They said: "Obama has 18 months to achieve something on the question of peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Afterward, there will be the midterm elections and the presidential campaign, which will lead to a decline in interest in this issue."

Kerry seeks to unblock $700 million in aid for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 11, 2013 - 1:00am

Secretary of State John Kerry is working to try to free up almost $700 million in aid for the Palestinians which has been held up in Congress, a top US official said Monday. “The secretary feels extremely strongly that it is time now to get this support to the Palestinian Authority,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

On My Mind: Peace expectations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Kenneth Bandler - (Opinion) February 11, 2013 - 1:00am

With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process stuck in neutral for so long, any ostensibly positive development is assumed to signal a possible opportunity to advance. Some observers contend that Israel’s recent elections provide such a turning point. The New York Times, for instance, argued in an editorial that the results set the stage for a breakthrough in moribund peace negotiations.

Palestinian Officials Urge Obama to Push for Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Daniel Estrin - February 7, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian officials said Thursday they hope President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the region signals readiness to re-engage in Mideast peace efforts, but that negotiations can only resume if Washington is ready to get tough with Israel.

Welcome, Secretary Kerry!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Uri Savir - (Opinion) February 7, 2013 - 1:00am

Congratulations to John Kerry on his taking office as secretary of state of the United States. President Barack Obama could not have made a better choice than a man who was himself close to being in the Oval Office, a liberal democrat from Massachusetts with bipartisan support, a champion of human rights and democracy who understands all too well the might of the United States as leader of the free world, a true American and a cosmopolitan man who fathoms the changing world.

Obama’s Israel trip is not about Middle East peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Josh Rogin - (Opinion) February 7, 2013 - 1:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Israel next month for the first time in his presidency, but few are expecting him to make a substantive push for real progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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