WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is playing down expectations for a Mideast peace breakthrough during his upcoming trip to Israel, telling American Jewish leaders that he won’t be carrying a “grand peace plan” when he arrives in the region later this month.
Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize connects to his June 4, 2009 Cairo speech…
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 4, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON A NEW BEGINNING
I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. (Applause.)
And Israel must also live up to its obligation to ensure that Palestinians can live and work and develop their society.