US: Obama won't present peace plan in Egypt - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Netanyahu and Obama, earlier this week Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Netanyahu and Obama, earlier this week Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO

US: Obama won't present peace plan in Egypt

White House press secretary denies reports that American president will be presenting a Mideast peace initiative in Cairo on June 4. Obama will not be the one to determine core issues, he clarifies

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 05.22.09, 21:00 / Israel News

WASHINGTON – PM Netanyahu can breathe with relief, at least for a few more months: The White House announced Friday that US President Barack Obama would not be presenting an American peace initiative for the Middle East during his upcoming speech in Egypt on June 4.


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the issue following media reports that the plan would be presented soon, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington earlier this week.


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The American spokesman clarified that the speech itself, which is still being composed in Washington, would be a broader speech about relations with Muslims worldwide, and that the president did not intend to present a Mideast peace plan.


Gibbs did note that Obama could not address the Muslim world without referring to the issue, but added that it was incorrect that the speech would focus on it.


The White House official stressed that the president has been holding meetings with Middle East leaders and speaking on the phone with others in order to carry out a political process, but added that the core issue would not be determined by the president but rather by the parties to a future agreement.


Ynet has learned from sources in the American administration that President Obama is expected to present in his Cairo speech principles for Israeli-Arab peace, but will not display his own peace plan.


The principles, which have already been voiced by Obama himself and other administration officials, are the American insistence on the two states for two people solution, freezing settlement construction, maintaining Palestinian dignity, Israel's security, normalization with Arab countries, etc.


Following Obama meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas next Thursday, special Mideast envoy George Mitchell is expected to visit the region for another round of talks, this time with sufficient information following the American president's meetings with Mideast leaders, in order to ignite a move in which both sides will present trust-building steps.


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