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Israel Braces for Obama Meeting

July 5, 2010
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In addition, Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and sources say he may present him with the list as well. Israeli officials believe the main issue Netanyahu will discuss with Obama is the decision to move forward to direct talks with the Palestinians. After 15 months of publicized disagreement, many believe the US president will attempt to make peace with Netanyahu.

“The US is demanding of Israel the prevention of embarrassment, such as construction in east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], once the direct talks begin,” Israeli diplomats said. “This is despite the fact that Obama knows Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] was dragged into these talks against his will.”

A Labor minister said the issue of West Bank construction was also sure to come up, if not during this meeting then certainly during the next. “It's true the Palestinians haven't done enough, but we can't have the bulldozers coming in during the talks,” he said.

A Foreign Ministry source said Obama was eager to spur the direct talks, and that he expects Netanyahu to make moves in which a majority is guaranteed, such as in the government or the Knesset. Obama is also expected to discuss with Netanyahu the easement of restrictions on Gaza as well as the coordination of talks between Israel and the Palestinians with Egypt and the EU. Their meeting will also deal with Iran and the new sanctions imposed by the US.

Posted on July 5, 2010

Source: (By Roni Sofer, Ynetnews, July 5, 2010)

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