Israel must abide by the 1967 borders: Obama
Salma El-Wardani, Michael Gunn, Thursday 19 May 2011
President Barack Obama said for the first time Thursday that the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state should be based on 1967 lines and be completed with land swaps.
"The United States believes that negototiations between Palestine and Israel should be based on two independent states with each having permanent borders" he said during today's speech on events in the Middle East and North Africa and the United States' policy in the region, live-streamed from the State Department.
"An Israeli state must abide by the borders of the 1967 accord," he said.
The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognised borders are established for both states,"
"The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarised state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated."
Obama said also that the Palestinian drive for recognition of statehood at the UN General Assembly will not work.
"Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won't create an independent state," the president said.
At a Cairo screening of the speech at the Semiramis Hotel, heavy applause greeted his statement: "At the time when the whole MENA region are casting off the burdens of the past, the change is more urgent than ever for the Palestinians."