US President Barack Obama is not going to discuss the stalled peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis during his visit to the region, Israel's Channel 10 TV said on Tuesday. Instead, Obama is going to focus on the perceived Iranian nuclear threat and the general Palestine Israel issue, but not the peace process. The president is visiting Israel and the occupied West Bank to meet political leaders.
According to Channel 10, Obama is going to put pressure on Israel to avoid the military option against Iran. "We will continue diplomatic efforts and negotiations, which started in Kazakhstan," the president is quoted as saying. If such discussions don't get anywhere, "America is going to increase sanctions on Iran. But if the international community cannot stop Iran's nukes and Iran continues to boycott the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], Washington tends to choose the military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities."
One London-based commentator said that this comment is "a bit rich" coming from the head of state of a country which does not allow IAEA inspectors to enter its nuclear sites. "Nor, indeed, does Israel, on whose behalf Obama is doing all this," added MEMO's Senior Editor, Ibrahim Hewitt.
Regarding the Palestinian issue, Israeli TV said that Obama is not planning to propose any peace plan; he is going "to listen to both sides". Nevertheless, Secretary of State John Kerry is, it is claimed, going to propose a joint US-Jordan-Israel-Palestine meeting in Amman at which the resumption of peace talks will be on the agenda.