Chicago , IL—Senator Barack Obama released the following statement on today’s talks in Annapolis, and his ensuing conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"Annapolis is a hopeful development because Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in serious discussions again and the countries of the region are involved, and I commend Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas for making the effort. I spoke with Prime Minister Olmert today, and assured him of my strong support for this effort and my unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security as a core principle as negotiations move forward. The Administration deserves credit for finally trying to use presidential diplomacy to bring the parties together. It's a big change from the last six and a half years, when President Bush badly neglected this conflict. Recognizing the complexity of the issues under discussion and the importance of the conflict, it is my hope that this conference is just the start of a sustained push by the United States, the Israelis and the Palestinians to achieve the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security."