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Netanyahu rebuffs Obama's borders proposal

Israel Materials 21 May 2011 00:15
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday flatly rejected US President Barack Obama's call for the creation of a Palestinian state based roughly on 1967 borders, dpa reported.
Netanyahu rebuffs Obama's borders proposal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday flatly rejected US President Barack Obama's call for the creation of a Palestinian state based roughly on 1967 borders, dpa reported.

Netanyahu, sitting beside Obama one day after the American president made the proposal in a major foreign policy address on the region, said that any peace deal will have to be centred on "reality" and on "unshakeable facts."

"While Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible," Netanyahu said. "They don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years."

Netanyahu's strong rejection of Obama's plan to use the border that existed prior to the Six Day War as a basis - with land swaps - for drawing up a Palestinian state came moments after Obama acknowledged there were differences between the two leaders.

"Obviously, there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language, and that's going to happen between friends," Obama said.

The meeting between the leaders went much longer than had been planned. Obama and Netanyahu have long been at odds over how to proceed in now-stalled peace process, but those differences sharpened after Obama's speech, which drew a quick rebuke from the Israeli leader before he arrived in Washington.

Obama did not specifically mention the border issue during their appearance with reporters Friday, saying only that in the meeting "we discussed in depth the principles that I laid out yesterday."

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