May 24, 2013
Obama says two-state solution 'still possible'
US President Barack Obama said today he had told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that continued Jewish settlement activity was not constructive and did not "advance the cause of peace."
Obama, speaking at a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said he remained committed to the creation of an "independent, viable and contiguous" Palestinian state and had not lost hope in achieving a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
He said his new Secretary of State John Kerry would spend a significant amount of time and energy trying to narrow the differences between the two sides as Washington tries to move them back to long-stalled direct talks.
Obama flew by helicopter to the Palestinian government headquarters in Ramallah. Some 150 Palestinian demonstrators gathered in Ramallah to protest against Obama's visit. They were held back by mass ranks of police who prevented them from nearing President Mahmoud Abbas's compound, where the aircraft landed.
A smiling Obama, accompanied by Abbas, was met by mostly stern-faced Palestinian officials along a red carpet.Obama held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday and toured the Israel Museum with him on Thursday, viewing the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls - underscoring the Jewish link to the Holy Land - and a high-tech exhibit.