Sunday, June 7, 2009


For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. (Obadiah 1:15)

Obama envoy may propose immediate talks on West Bank borders
Saudi FM to U.S.: Cut off aid if Israel doesn't end occupation
Clinton: No proof Bush administration approved settlement growth

Saudis tell Obama: Impose Mideast solution if needed

By Barak Ravid
Haaretz Correspondent

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to impose a solution on the festering Arab-Israeli conflict if necessary, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that he would deliver a major address on his foreign policy next week. The decision comes in the wake of U.S. pressure over the peace process with the Palestinians and Obama's address to the Muslim world last week. "Next week I will deliver a major diplomatic speech in which I will present to Israel's citizens our principles for achieving peace and security," said Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting. "

Ahead of the address, I will be happy to hear the opinions of my coalition partners and of other figures in the Israeli public."

Obama has made repeated calls for Israel to halt West Bank settlement construction, and last week declared he would personally pursue a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a concept Netanyahu has so far refrained from publicly supporting.

"Over recent days I have read and heard different quotes that were attributed to me - but that I did not say," Netanyahu added.

"I wish to clarify that we want to achieve peace with the Palestinians and with the Arab world while attempting to reach optimal understanding with the U.S. and the international community."

Netanyahu has drawn fire in Israel over his failure to back a two-state solution; his comments on Sunday came shortly after opposition leader Tzipi Livni warned that this may cause the United States to withdraw its support for Israel.

At Sunday's meeting, Netanyahu declared: "My aspiration is to reach a stable peace that rests upon the foundation of security for the State of Israel and its citizens." Saudi Arabia and other Arab states want Obama to get tougher with Netanyahu over his refusal to endorse Palestinian statehood and for defying U.S. calls to halt the expansion of settlements.

King Abdullah told Obama during his visit to Riyadh last week that Arab patience was wearing thin and that a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict would be the "magic key" to all issues in the region, al-Hayat said, quoting what it called informed sources.

"We want from you a serious participation to solve the Palestinian issue and impose the solution if necessary," the Saudi monarch told Obama, according to the paper, which is owned by a nephew of the monarch. It did not elaborate.

Saudi Arabia was the driving force behind an Arab peace initiative first put forward by Arab states in 2002 offering Israel recognition in return for withdrawal from Arab land captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and a Palestinian state.

Israel has reacted coolly to the offer, renewed in 2007, saying a return of Palestinian refugees to areas now inside Israel would destroy the Jewish character of the state.

"We [Arabs] want to devote our time ... to build a generation capable of confronting the future with science and work," King Abdullah said, according to al-Hayat.

Saudi Arabia believes the collapse of Middle East peacemaking has given Iran a chance to expand its regional influence through Sunni Islamist groups such as the Palestinian Hamas, as well as its Shi'ite traditional Hezbollah allies in Lebanon.

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