WASHINGTON – The White House is pressing Jerusalem to publicly endorse US President Barack Obama's vision for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, based in the 1967 borders, a top US official said.
According to the Washington Times, Steven Simon, the new White House National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa, held a conference call with Jewish Community representatives on Friday, and said that Washington was no looking to get both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to adopt "Obama's principles as a basis for negotiation."
Obama's position, Simon stressed, is that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
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The US, he added, had about a month to head off the PA unilateral attempt at statehood – a bid set for the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in September.
The White House has reportedly appealed to Jewish leaders on Friday that the request of Israel was part of an effort to head off Palestinian plans to declare an independent state at the United Nations in September.
“We have a month to see if we can work something out with the Israelis and Palestinians as accepting these principles as a basis for negotiations,” he said. “If that happens we are somewhat confident that the Palestinians will drop what they intend to do in the UN.”
Simon reportedly reassured the Jewish representatives that the United States would oppose the PA's unilateral declaration at the United Nations whether Israel adopted the Obama principles or not.
He also said that the Palestinian leadership was divided on whether to proceed with the unilateral declaration in September.
Obama's proposal includes components which are vital to Israel's security, he said, adding that the US will withdraw its financial support of the Palestinian Authority if it includes Hamas in its government – as long as it persists in pursuing terror and refusing to recognize Israel.
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