UNITED NATIONS -- With his administration and U.S. allies unable to dissuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from pursuing membership at the United Nations, President Barack Obama will make a case today for reviving the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Obama -- who will meet with Abbas today -- is expected to include in his remarks to world leaders before the U.N. General Assembly a reiteration of U.S. policy: that for the decades-old conflict to be resolved, Palestinians and Israelis need to negotiate.
"Peace is going to have to be made between the parties," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Tuesday, offering a preview of Obama's remarks. "It's going to have to be the Israelis and the Palestinians sitting down, dealing with the very hard issues that have divided them. There's no shortcut to peace."
Speaking to the same gathering a year ago, Obama suggested it was possible that both sides could reach agreement. But peace talks stalled nearly a year ago, and the Palestinians say they have no choice but to pursue recognition at the U.N.
Israel is vehemently opposed to that, saying U.N. recognition will poison any peace talks. Obama is scheduled to meet today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after delivering his remarks, and the White House announced late Tuesday that the president will meet with Abbas at 6 p.m. today.