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JERUSALEM – Despite President Obama’s strong public call for “justice” for the Palestinians and the creation of a state, Palestinian Authority leaders are disappointed with what they heard in a private meeting yesterday with the U.S. president.
A top PA negotiator told WND that in a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Obama refused a Palestinian request for a timetable to create a Palestinian state.
Obama also refused to tell Abbas how closely the U.S. will be involved in Israeli-Palestinian talks.
“The feeling we got was that the president came with an eye toward the midterm U.S. elections,” said the PA negotiator. “He made strong statements in his speech, but we don’t expect any real momentum until after the elections in your Congress.”
The negotiator said Obama “just repeated all the old points to Abbas.”
“He didn’t come up with anything new and didn’t even call for a system to implement those points. It was disappointing,” he said.
The PA negotiator said he estimates the U.S. is currently more focused on Asia, Iran and Syria, and has put Israeli-Palestinian issues on the back burner despite public statements about moving toward creating a Palestinian state.
Still, the negotiator said the PA believes Secretary of State John Kerry will lead a push for more momentum on the Israel-Palestinian track.
The mood within the PA is in contrast to Obama’s strong defense of the so-called Palestinian cause in an address to Israeli civilians in Jerusalem.
“Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land,” Obama told the crowd.
“The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and their justice must also be recognized,” he told the Israelis. “Put yourself in their shoes, look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements … every single day.”