VIDEO - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said that it would be wrong for the Palestinians to pursue UN recognition instead of peace talks with Israel.
"For the Palestinians to take the United Nations route rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake," he said.
Obama claimed that while the UN could achieve many things, it cannot declare a Palestinian state which can only be established after Israel and the Palestinians agree on peace.
Obama and Cameron in London (Photo: AFP)
In a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London, Obama said that the peace process will ultimately be decided by the two parties alone.
Referring to Hamas, he said that it was hard for Israel to negotiate with a group that opposes its existence and fires rockets at it. "I don't want the Palestinians to forget they also have commitments," he noted.
The US president said that the Palestinians will have to solve the problems in the reconciliation agreement if the peace process progresses.
He stressed again his endorsement of the two-state solution. "My goal, as I set out in a speech I gave last week, is a Jewish state of Israel that is safe and secure and recognized by its neighbors and a sovereign state of Palestine in which the Palestinian people are able to determine their own fate and their own future," he said. "I am confident that can be achieved."
Obama added that achieving a peaceful Middle East will require "wrenching compromise" by the Israelis and Palestinians, but an accord will never be reached unless both sides come back to the table.
He noted that he recently proposed that the two sides rekindle the process by first working on the borders of a future Palestinian state and Israel's security before moving to more emotional issues, such as the fate of Palestinian refugees and Jerusalem.
He said a peace deal will be on the horizon if they resolve those issues.
Cameron congratulated Obama on his Middle East speech in which he supported Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines and land swap. The two agreed that the need to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more urgent than ever.
'Need for solution to conflict is urgent' (Photo: AFP)
Cameron said that terror against Israel must end as well as the Palestinians' "humiliation." Despite the difficulties we must push for a solution, he said.
Obama and Cameron also discussed the situation in Libya and Syria.
Reuters and AP contributed to this report
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook