Obama to visit Israel, Palestinian territories next week

July 14th, 2008 - 11:54 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Barack Obama
Jerusalem/ Ramallah, July 14 (DPA) US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories next week, Israeli and Palestinian officials said Monday.
Obama was expected to arrive in the region for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders July 22 and 23, the officials said. The Obama campaign had not confirmed the details of the visit.

On Sunday, the Illinois senator backtracked on a statement he made in June that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided”.

In an interview with US broadcaster CNN, Obama said the remarks were the result of “poor phrasing” and expressed his support for the Middle East peace process.

“The point we were simply making was, is that we don’t want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the ‘67 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent,” he said.

“I was not trying to predetermine what are essentially final status issues. I think the Clinton formulation provides a starting point for discussions between the parties.”

Obama’s visit is part of a tour abroad that will reportedly also include visits to Britain, Germany and France, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq.

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