President Obama has failed to deliver on the high expectations for Middle East peace that his election engendered three and a half years ago, according to the Palestinians’ top envoy to the United States.
Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat said Obama’s campaign rhetoric and early actions in the White House raised hopes that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might be within reach.
But with just six months left in the president’s term, and no breakthrough in sight, the chief representative of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United States expressed disappointment at where things stand.
“We were hoping that things would be different by now,” Areikat said in a wide-ranging interview with reporters. “We were hoping and expecting to be at a different stage-point today.
“Maybe my expectations were higher than [Obama] was planning to do. But at least the projections early when he took office pointed to some real movement in the right direction, and unfortunately it did not materialize.”
Areikat’s comments reflect broader Palestinian frustrations with the White House.
The lack of progress on a two-state solution led the Palestinians to unilaterally seek United Nations recognition as a sovereign state last year – a move the Obama administration vowed to block – and Areikat warned that the Palestinians might well try again.
“The Palestinian leadership said that they reserve the right to resort to any and every venue possible to further our objectives,” Areikat said, noting that Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat made that clear to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when he met with her on June 20, their first meeting in nine months.
“If the political vacuum continues, we will go to the United Nations General Assembly. We are going to explore other venues, and we have the right to do that.”
Read the full report at: GLOBAL AFFAIRS