Dan Shapiro on Wednesday
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Shapiro: Direct talks with PA are only solution
US ambassador to Israel says Obama's reelection could restart peace process, adds president committed to stopping Iran from obtaining nukes

American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro postulated Wednesday that President Barack Obama's reelection could move forward the stalled peace process between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.


Speaking at a conference held at the Institute for National Security Studies, Shapiro said that the only way to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians is through direct negotiations, and called for efforts to restart these talks.


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The ambassador further said that a strong, stable Palestinian Authority is within the interests of everyone involved, but said that unilateral steps – like the PA's bid for recognition at the UN – are detrimental to the peace process.


Shapiro at INSS event (Video: Yehonatan Zur)


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INSS director and former defense official Amos Yadlin said at the conference that the conclusion of the elections could bring progress on issues that have so far been stalled, like the finding a solution to the Syrian civil war and the Iranian nuclear threat, as well as the negotiations with the Palestinians.


He added that Obama's reelection will allow him to focus on these issues in his second term.


The ambassador further speculated that the elections in the US could affect the elections in Israel.


Ambassador Shapiro also addressed the ties between Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that the two work well together and speak regularly. He added that the leaders' teams work closely with each other. He stated that Obama is waiting for an opportunity to visit Israel, but didn't specify any concrete plans.


Shapiro told the conference that throughout his first term as president, Obama was very clear in his determination to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and he maintains that commitment.


The second Obama administration will work hard to prevent Iran from obtaining a bomb, he said.




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