Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has said that US President Barack Obama has expressed concern over the future of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in light of the serious political deadlock between the two sides.
“He did not seem optimistic about the possibility of restarting talks with the Palestinians,” Rivlin was quoted as saying by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper during a press briefing at the White House.
“The Americans can help, but they see little chance to restart talks. The president agreed with me that we need to build trust. They will check if both sides can make gestures that could bring the two nations closer and that could result in new negotiations,” Rivlin said.
“The president expressed both his concern and his uncompromising commitment to Israel,” he added.
Rivlin said Obama “expressed great concern” over the stalemate between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“He sees the disconnect as unproductive, but he did not seem optimistic about the possibility of restarting dialogue with the Palestinians,” said Rivlin, who also added that he told Obama that he believes there is a need to renew the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.
“I told him that maybe it should be done in stages, and maybe we should discuss [the possibility of] an interim period.”
According to Rivlin, Obama promised to explore the positions of both sides and take steps to bring them closer in a bid to renew talks.
The Israeli president praised his meeting with Obama describing it as “unprecedented”, and adding that “the president was very open, very sincere and very clear in his words to me.”