Obama won’t bring new peace plan with him, sides say

The White House and ambassadors on both sides of the ocean confirm the American president’s visit doesn’t signal a breakthrough in the peace process

Haviv Rettig Gur
The Times of Israel

Weeks before the 2012 election, US President Barack Obama suggested he would wait to visit Israel until there was a good reason to do so.

“Given how important I think the situation in the Middle East is, and our partnership with Israel which is stronger than it’s ever been, when I go to Israel I want to make sure that we’re actually moving something forward,” Obama told NBC’s Brian Williams.

But just a day after announcing a visit in the spring to the Jewish state, the White House, the American ambassador in Israel and Israel’s ambassador to the US all sought to quell speculation that the visit was meant to signal a breakthrough in the peace process…

…White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that Obama would bring no peace proposal with him, and will instead focus on discussions on issues of mutual concern to Israel and the US.

The timing of the visit is tied to the new administrations in both Israel and the United States, Carney said.

However, some officials have indicated the visit will include a new peace push.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said earlier Wednesday that Obama wants to host a summit between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the visit, which is tentatively set for late March or early April. Ayalon said he was “certain” preparations for such a summit were already under way…

The entire article is at The Times of Israel.

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