WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama asserted Tuesday that there has been "movement in the right direction" from both Israelis and Palestinians in response to a renewed push for a comprehensive Middle East peace.
Obama made the claim during a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the White House. The two leaders said they discussed a broad range of issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the prospect of nuclear-armed Iran, the evolving situation in Iraq, and several new health and education initiatives.
They also discussed the prospects for domestic political reform in Egypt - a sensitive subject for the U.S. administration and Mubarak, who is frequently criticized by human rights activists and political opponents for suppressing internal dissent.
"If all sides are willing to move off of the rut" that has characterized negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in recent years, then "there's an extraordinary opportunity" for progress, Obama said.
Obama praised reports of the recent removal of Israeli checkpoints and increased economic activity in the West Bank. He said he hoped the Palestinians would begin to take new steps to bolster Israeli security, and that more Arab countries would reach out to the Jewish state.
"The negotiations of the final status" of Jerusalem, the Israeli-Palestinian border, and the rights of Palestinian refugees "will not be easy," Mubarak replied. "But I believe we can reach a solution."
Obama was initially scheduled to host Mubarak in Washington on May 26. The meeting - one of three planned for the end of the May with Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas - was postponed due to the death of Mubarak's grandson.
Obama has also met with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Saudi King Abdullah, among others, as part of the administration's push for a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Obama called for closer relations between the United States and the Muslim world during a closely-watched address at Egypt's Cairo University on June 4.
Mubarak has been mightily mute all these days and has been mumblin' something about BHO not doin' enough for mid-east peace. US can not solve all the world problems and the regional powers ought to take charge atleast in coopeerating w/ any peace process.
Open the Rafah border crossing to Gaza, the world's largest open air prison. It is an outrage that an Arab nation can be an accomplice to war crimes against the Palestinian people of Gaza. Open the Rafah gate and keep it open permanently.
Wonder which side got the knife first...
Sad that there are hardly any comments on foreign policy, but a gazillion silly messages on Health Care. Foreign Policy is just as important to our economic and physical security as domestic are.....In any case, I think partnership is good. People don't know Egypt's history with terrorism, but Hosni Mubarak like him or not, knows counter-terrorism. I think his son will succeed him.
I smell peace on the horizon.
Wow! Talks alluding to a non-specific Peace in the Middle East?
With each passing day, Umbama acts more and more the same as the last so many presidents.
What was the Change again?
If health care fails, so will Democracy, we are witnessing the last days of democracy, the country will fail, health care will fail, and all the greedy people that denied others a public option will then be in the same sick mess as those without insurace. So be it, if that's what it takes. Rome fell, and we are just another Rome waiting to happen. Greed can go on forever.
If Egypt truly wants to do their part, then they'd better police their border, and prevent rockets from being smuggled into Gaza.
we are sorry.............and we surrender
There is nothing good going on there. Mubarak is a criminal.
Why is it when Obummer speaks it always sounds like a campaign speech???
How refreshing it is that for the PAST EIGHT MONTHS anti-American sentiments seemed to have taken a back seat. No flag burning, no hurling of insults by those who like to label us as "infidels". The world is not perfect but at least this administration is trying to bridge gaps and foster peace instead of fighting fire with fire.
Who is it that said you are either with us or against us?
Down with that rhetoric!!!
I look forward to the day when Israel finally fights its own wars, instead of asking Americans to sacrifice thousands of our soldiers and billions of our taxpayer dollars. What has Israel given us in return? 'Oh, they are our ally in the region, the only democracy in the Middle East, we must support them!' Really? An ally occasionally LISTENS to us, instead of just making demands and then thumbing their nose at us when we ask for some concessions in return! (like abide by UN Security Council resolutions #242 and #338 that explicitely demanded Israel withdraw from the Westbank) And democracy? Ha! Sure, for jewish people only! All arabs and Israeli mulims have been stripped of rights ON THEIR OWN LAND because they aren't jewish! And we dare criticize Iran for being a theocracy?
I don't understand why conservatives are so afraid of Obama's 'drastic' change of Middle East policy, or why liberals celebrate it. It is 100% the same as it was with President Bush! President Bush was the one who recently laid out the Roadmap to Middle East Peace that demanded stopping of all hostilities and the dismantlement of illegal Israeli settlements. Bush did this too! And he wasn't the first one! The official US government position on Israel hasn't changed since LBJ! Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton ALL championed this very same policy! But I guess republicans and democrats will make up stories to rip into the other instead of looking up facts first!
So let it be said, so let it be done. If Obama tells Mubarak to make peace in the Middle East, it will happen. People will shed their violent religion, forget about ancient hatreds and give each other a collective hug. See how easy that was? How come no one else thought of that?
"PSSST Mubarak. How coming on converting everyone to Muslims???"
"PSSST Mubarak. How we coming on converting everyone to Muslims???"
even if good natured people get behind the wheel, the battle is too deeply entrenched
Obama is trying to rebuild peace in the Middle East. Bush preferred bombs. Chenny demanded bombs.
To achive peace in MIddle east region , tell them straight forward that you figure out among your self and you all come to Washington with aggrement till than you stop giving them any aides that also goes to Israeli. Tell GOPER Mike Huky to keep his mouth shut, he has no right to tell Israeli what to do or not to do...........good luck