The Washington Times - September 21, 2011, 03:58PM


Stephen Dinan writes: With Palestinians pushing for a U.N. vote officially carving out a state for them, President Obama on Wednesday called on the international body to stand down and let the Israelis and Palestinians work out matters themselves, saying it is the only way to achieve a lasting peaceful agreement. “There is no shortcut to a conflict that has endured for years,” Mr. Obama said as he addressed the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly. “Peace will not come through statements at the U.N. — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side.” He has meetings scheduled with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for later Wednesday, during which he will repeat his call for the two sides to bridge their differences. Saying he is frustrated by the pace of direct talks with Israel over a peace deal, Mr. Abbas has said he will ask the United Nations to declare a Palestinian state. Many other members of the world body are eagerly awaiting the chance to vote for such a declaration. Indeed, other world leaders at the United Nations made explicit pleas on behalf of Palestinians. (more)