Obama urges Israel end occupation and
Palestinians accept Israel
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[September 21, 2016]
By Jeff Mason
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Both sides would
benefit if Israel recognized it cannot permanently occupy Palestinian
land and if Palestinians rejected incitement and recognized Israel's
legitimacy, U.S. President Barack Obama told the United Nations on
Obama's efforts to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement
have failed over the nearly eight years he has been in the White House,
with the latest push by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry collapsing in
U.S. officials have held out the possibility Obama could lay out the
rough outlines of a deal - "parameters" in diplomatic parlance - after
the Nov. 8 presidential election and before he leaves office in January,
but many analysts doubt this would have much effect.
"Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians
reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel ...(and if)
Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle
Palestinian land," Obama said.
Speaking at the General Assembly annual gathering of world leaders at
the United Nations for the last time as president, Obama also said
Russia was trying to recover "lost glory" through force.
He warned Russia that if it "continues to interfere in the affairs of
its neighbors, it may be popular at home, it may fuel nationalist fervor
for a time, but over time it is also going to diminish its stature and
make its borders less secure."
Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014 after months of
protests in Kiev ousted pro-Moscow Ukrainian President Viktor
On the international dispute over the South China Sea, Obama said: "A
peaceful resolution of disputes offered by law will mean far greater
stability then the militarization of a few rocks and reefs."
[to top of second column]
President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly
in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 20, 2016.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea, through which ships
carrying about $5 trillion in trade pass every year. Brunei,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims in
the sea, which is also believed to be rich in energy resources and
In July, an arbitration court in The Hague said China's claims to
the waterway were invalid, in a case was brought by the Philippines.
Beijing has refused to recognize the ruling.
(Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Michelle Nichols;
Editing by Howard Goller and Grant McCool)
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