United Nations (AP) - President Barack Obama is exhorting the world to unite around the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, challenging the United Nations to support an agreement that would create an independent
In a speech to the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, Obama will call on world leaders to cast aside decades of division over the conflict, overcome cynicism and prove their support for a settlement to be reached by the two sides that his administration is now pushing against long odds.
Without a deal, he will say, "more blood will be shed" and "this Holy Land will remain a symbol of our differences, instead of our common humanity," according to portions of the text released by the White House in advance of the speech.
"If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state," he says. "Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to coexistence."
The excerpts released by the White House dealt only with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and made no mention of other foreign policy initiatives that Obama is expected to champion in his full remarks. The emphasis underscored the urgency of overcoming hurdles that he has met less than a month after relaunching direct negotiations between the parties.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to walk out of the talks if
The looming expiration appears to have stalled the negotiations, which got under way in early September in
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the administration's special Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell have been meeting with officials from both sides and other interested parties this week in
So, faced with the real possibility of the collapse of negotiations, Obama is imploring the international community to get behind the idea of peace and forget age-old alliances to one side or the other.
"Those of us who are friends of
"Many in this hall count themselves as friends of the Palestinians," he was to say. "But these pledges must now be supported by deeds."
Among those deeds are providing financial support from Arab states to the Palestinian Authority and preparing those in Muslim world for an eventual deal that will see their countries at peace with Israel.
Obama was to urge the U.N. in its 60th year to look beyond past
"We can come back here, next year, as we have for the last 60, and make long speeches about it," he was to say. "We can read familiar lists of grievances. We can table the same resolutions. We can further empower the forces of rejectionism and hate."
"We can do that," he was to say. "Or, we can say that this time will be different, that this time we will not let terror or turbulence or posturing or petty politics stand in the way.
"This time, we should draw upon the teachings of tolerance that lie at the heart of three great religions that see
Obama's speech was his second to the world body and comes amid a three-day U.N.-dominated trip to