US President Barack Obama warned Wednesday there was "no short cut" to Middle East peace. He was speaking amid the Palestinian drive for UN statehood recognition.
"I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN -- if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now," Obama said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
In a pro-Israeli speech the US leader appealed to the United Nations to recognize Israel’s security concerns in considering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day,” Obama said.
Obama repeated his administration’s stand to the Palestinians not to use the United Nations as a vehicle for achieving statehood, and urged Israel and the Palestinians to return to talks based on the parameters he outlined May.
“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations," he said.
“Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than 8 million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, and persecution, fresh memories of knowing that 6 million people were killed simply because of who they are," Obama said.
“Those are facts. They cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine."
Obama also called for U.N. Security Council sanctions on Syria.