President Barack Obama voiced concerns about the Middle East peace talks Tuesday and said neither side appears to be making “the extra effort” to forge a way forward together.
During a press event in Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama is traveling as part of a 10-day trip to Asia, the president lamented that Israel is planning for more than a thousand new homes in Jerusalem, a move that appears to undermine its peace efforts with the neighboring Palestinians. Obama called for negotiations toward Middle East peace to begin anew in September and for an agreement within one year.
“This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations. And I’m concerned that we’re not seeing each side made the extra effort involved to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living ... side by side in peace with a sovereign Palestine,” Obama said.
The president vowed to keep working toward peace in the region because it is in the “world’s interest” to reach agreement. He warned that Israel’s latest move could “end up breaking down trust.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.