"Israel must return to its 1967 borders," US President Barack Obama is expected to declare on Thursday in his Middle East policy speech, Israeli daily newspaper "Yediot Ahronot" reports this morning. Obama will propose dividing Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinian Authority but will rule out supporting any unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence.
From conversations over the past few days between Israel's new national security advisor Yaakov Amidror and his predecessor Uzi Arad with senior figures in Washington, the newspaper claims to have details of the draft plan that Obama intends putting forward. In his speech on Thursday, Obama will outline the main principles of his Middle East approach, and call on Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.
While Obama will call on the Palestinians refrain from declaring unilateral independence in September, he will also demand that Israel stop building West Bank settlements.
On the subject of Jerusalem, he will say that from the US point of view the city should be the capital of two state that live alongside each other in peace. Obama will reportedly adopt the plan of former US President Bill Clinton in which Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhoods will be part of Palestine, and neighborhoods in which there is a majority of Israelis will be part of Israel.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 17, 2011
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