Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip watch President Barack Obama speaking in Cairo on Thursday.
Obama’s remarks were televised on all radio and television stations in Israel, and with Arabic voice-over translations by Arab satellite stations Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera, Egyptian TV and Al-Manar, an outlet for the militant group Hezbollah. The speech was not broadcast in Iran, where the goverment jammed signals to block satellite owners from watching.
“Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist,” he said of the organization the United States deems as terrorist.
“The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people,” Obama said.
“At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements” on the West Bank and outskirts of Jerusalem, he said. “It is time for these settlements to stop.”
As for Jerusalem itself, he said it should be a “secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims …”
The president’s brief stay in Cairo included a visit to the Sultan Hassan mosque, a 600-year-old center of Islamic worship and study. He also toured the Great Pyramids of Giza, and joked with reporters that if they were not present, “I’d get on a camel.” Some of his aides did just that.
Or maybe he’d walk a mile for one. 🙂
“Tell Saint Peter at the golden gate he’s just gonna have to wait. I just got to have another cigarette.”
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