Obama says he's not giving up on Mideast peace
RAMALLAH, West Bank — President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Israelis and Palestinians to get back to peace talks but offered no new ideas on how they might do so, essentially abandoning his previous support of the Palestinian demand for Israel to halt settlement activity before negotiations resume.
In remarks likely to disappoint, if not infuriate, the Palestinians, Obama said the United States continues to oppose the construction of Jewish housing on land claimed by the Palestinians but stressed that issues of disagreement between the two sides should not be used as an "excuse" to do nothing. He said there would be no point to negotiations if differences had to be resolved before they start.
"Even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement, maybe engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith, we have to push through those things to try to get to an agreement," Obama told reporters at a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank.
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