President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.
In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.
After the press filmed a seemingly tense joint-statement session in the Oval Office between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did his best to pick up the pieces at the daily press briefing. And the overarching message to reporters was this: the controversial comments about Israel returning to its 1967 borders only meant that those borders should be used as a starting point in negotiations:
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