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July 25, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 4025

Fatah Foreign Relations Chief Nabil Shaath: It Will Be Difficult For Obama, As A Black President Facing A White Majority, To Exercise His Veto - He Will 'Not Make His Presence Felt'; The U.S. No Longer Plays A Role In the Middle East; The 'Two States for Two Peoples' Solution Is 'Unacceptable To Us'

July 25, 2011
Special Dispatch No. 4025

Following are excerpts from an interview with Fatah foreign relations chief Nabil Shaath. The interview aired on ANB TV on July 13, 2011:

"It Will Be Difficult For a Black President Facing a White Majority To Exercise His... Veto... Obama Will Not Make His Presence Felt"

Nabil Shaath: "The recognition of a [Palestinian] state is basically a bilateral action, which receives the blessing of the UN. This act, however, will make many things possible in the future. Eventually, we will be able to sign bilateral agreements with states, and this will enable us to exert pressure on Israel. At the end of the day, we want to exert pressure on Israel, in order to force it to recognize us and to leave our country. This is our long-term goal. […]

"In my view, it will be difficult for a black president facing a white majority to exercise his right of veto in order to defend his political platform on health, security, economy, and so on. President Obama will not make his presence felt in the coming 14 months." […]

"In Practical Terms, the U.S. Does Not Play a Role Anymore In the Middle East... In The... Egyptian [Revolution], Obama Changed His Position Six Times"

"Even though it is embroiled in domestic politics, the U.S. does not want to reach the point where it does not play the main role in the Middle East. But in practical terms, the U.S. does not play a role anymore in the Middle East, although it does not want to acknowledge or accept this. […]

"What was the role of the U.S. in the 'Arab Spring?' In the three weeks of the Egyptian [revolution], Obama changed his position six times. He is constantly reacting to events rather than generating them.

"What role does the U.S. play in Lebanon and Syria? What the role does the U.S. play in Iran? Do you even read about Iran in the newspapers? Nobody talks about Iran. They want to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama's problem is that he is being criticized by the Republicans for leaving so fast.

"With regard to Libya, he is trying not to get involved, but he is being criticized even for sending drones. The U.S. has no real presence." […]

The Formula of "Two States for Two Peoples" Is "Unacceptable To Us"; "We Will Be a State For One People"

"[The French initiative] reshaped the issue of the 'Jewish state' into a formula that is also unacceptable to us – two states for two peoples. They can describe Israel itself as a state for two peoples, but we will be a state for one people. The story of 'two states for two peoples' means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this – not as part of the French initiative and not as part of the American initiative.

"We will not sacrifice the 1.5 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who live within the 1948 borders, and we will never agree to a clause preventing the Palestinian refugees from returning to their country. We will not accept this, whether the initiative is French, American, or Czechoslovakian." […]

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