PA disappointed with Obama’s AIPAC speech, Erekat says


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians were disappointed with President Obama’s speech to the AIPAC conference.

"This speech is part of Obama’s election campaign," Erekat told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, speaking of the U.S. leader’s address Sunday to the pro-Israel lobby.

Erekat expressed disappointment that the speech did not call on Israel to accept a two-state solution and stop building in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

He said the speech showed "unprecedented support" for Israel. Erekat called on Arab countries to do the same for Arab interests in the region, Ma’an reported.

During the speech, which focused on the response to the Iranian nuclear weapons threat by Israel, the United States and the international community, Obama called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and to stop its quest to be recognized at the United Nations in place of peace negotiations. 

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