US President Barack Obama
believed he has failed to properly push for a resolution of the Middle East
In an interview given Sunday to the ABC7 affiliate station WJLA-TV, Obama said he believes he has failed at promoting the Arab-Israeli peace
When asked if he felt that there was "anything you believe you failed at, not because Congress wouldn't play ball, but that rests squarely on your shoulders?" Obama answered: "I have not been able to move the peace process forward in the Middle East the way I wanted."
"It's something we focused on very early. But the truth of the matter is that the parties, they've got to want it as well."
Obama: Disappointed in the peace process (Photo: AFP)
Negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah have been virtually nonexistent for the duration of Obama's term in office.
Talks resumed briefly two years ago before stumbling over the same set of problems, namely Palestinian demands for a freeze on Jewish settlements
in lands they seek for their future state and an Israeli insistence on no preconditions for talks.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
is currently visiting Israel. Clinton will meet with President Shimon Peres
and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
as well as with Defense Minister Ehud Barak
and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Although Clinton's agenda is expected to cover the breadth of US-Israeli relations, including the recent changes in Egypt
and the threat posed by Iran's
nuclear program, the spotlight will be on the lack of action in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The flurry of visits by top US officials to Israel could reflect an administration attempt to shore up Obama's support among Jewish voters
as the election nears. The president has pushed back forcefully against Republican claims that he is weak in defending Israel's security, and GOP candidate Mitt Romney is planning to visit Israel later this month.
AP contributed to this report
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