June 9th, 2010
05:15 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama to meet with Palestinian leader at tense time

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, a meeting that comes at a tense time for the Middle East peace process.

Obama and Abbas will meet at the White House at a time of overwhelming international concern about Israel's recent raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza.

The late May raid left nine people dead and threatened to sow more seeds of resentment between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Early in May, Obama had called Abbas to praise the start of indirect peace talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders.

The two leaders discussed the need to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations in order to reach agreement on permanent status issues.

But after the fervor over the flotilla raid, the status on those talks are unclear.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry defended its move at the time saying the flotilla, which was delivering aid, was trying to circumvent Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

Palestinian authorities condemned the incident and was supported by chorus of international criticism including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"I condemn the violence, and Israel must explain," Ban said.

Despite the tense situation, Obama is expected to talk to Abbas about moving the proximity talks process forward, an administration official said.

Filed under: Israel • Palestine • President Obama
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Marcus

    I have seen a lot of cartoons and jokes around that depicts (directly or indirectly) those who believes in the right that Israel has to impose the blockade as wise folks and those who don't as fools and dumb idiots. And vice versa.
    Things are not that simple.
    The blockade is indeed a matter of national security for Israel, without it the maniacal homicides that are the leadership of the Hamas would have access to a lot of useful stuff for their (stupid) plans of 'getting even with Israel' (that fortunately many Palestinians are starting to getting tired of).
    But at the same time, the blockade is so strict that it is killing people. Innocent people. Like Children for instance. Even Israel admits that the amount of food and other stuff that they allow to get pass the blockade is nowhere near enough for the po┬┤pulation of the area. Which is implicitly admits MURDER by starvation.

    June 9, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |