Barack Obama pledges support for Palestinian statehood

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Barack Obama has reassured Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, of Washington's support for Palestinian statehood during his first visit to the White House.

Following their Oval Office talks, Mr Obama said he was" confident" of moving the Middle East peace process forward and said freezing the expansion of settlements was now a public priority for the US.

Mr Obama said that"time is of the essence" in securing Arab Israeli peace and that it is"in US interests to do so quickly".

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Robert Montgomery - 5/30/2009

Please Mr President it's not reassuring words-no matter how ringing a tone they are delivered in-IT'S MOVEMENT AT THE STATION THE PALESTINIANS NEED.Not good enough to request a freeze on expansion,a clear ,unequivocal statement spelling out that under international law ALL COLONISATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORY IS ILLEGAL[bit of a problem squaring that with the military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan] and a demand that Israel withdraw to the recognised borders- including those with Lebanon and Syria-is what most of the world has consistently demanded for decades.