‘No shortcut’ to peace, Obama says

Obama says the US wants an “independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people, alongside the Jewish state of Israel.”

He calls for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. “There is no shortcut to a sustainable solution.”

He notes ongoing settlement construction, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and restrictions on reaching holy places, and says he understands Palestinian frustration.

He promises that Kerry will work hard to “close the gap” between Israelis and Palestinians, and says new ideas will be necessary.

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