Abbas Challenges Obama to 'Impose' Peace

Palestinian leader gives blunt message to US
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 24, 2010 3:25 PM CDT
Abbas Challenges Obama to 'Impose' Peace
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to leaders of his Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah Saturday.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called on President Obama to "impose" a Mideast peace deal, reflecting growing frustration with what Palestinians see as Washington's failure to wrangle concessions out of Israel's hardline government. In an unusually blunt appeal, Abbas said that if Obama believes Palestinian statehood is a vital US interest, then the American leader must take forceful steps to bring it about.

"Since you, Mr. President, and you, the members of the American administration, believe in this, it is your duty to call for the steps in order to reach the solution and impose the solution—impose it," Abbas said in a speech to leaders of his Fatah movement. "But don't tell me it's a vital national strategic American interest ... and then not do anything." He spoke a day after meeting with Mideast envoy George Mitchell, who meets with Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow. (More Mahmoud Abbas stories.)

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