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Obama: Jerusalem will not be capital of Palestinian state

July 24, 2008 9:44 A.M. (Updated: July 24, 2008 9:44 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - US democratic candidate Barak Obama said during a press conference on Wednesday in Sderot, a city in the south of Israel, that he does not support the idea of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Obama made it clear that Jerusalem would remain the capital of Israel and that he would not see the city divided. He added that this position needed to be fixed through negotiations with the Palestinians.

Recent years have seen Obama's position on Israel/Palestine shift dramatically towards the Israeli side. He previously stated that the issue of Jerusalem should be on the table of any peace negotiation, but after criticism of his 'naïve' stance, Obama dropped this position.

The press conference was held with Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, who said, "Israel and the USA have a common understanding of what must happen in the region."

Earlier Obama met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, where he said that he would work hard to continue the peace process.

Obama stressed that if he takes office this fall he will not "start from zero" with the Palestinian peace process. Rather, he said, "we will continue peace process efforts." He also expressed the desire to show Palestinians that there was good reason to hope for a resolution.
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