Palestinians Welcome Obama's Visit

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CBNNews.com - RAMALLAH, West Bank - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama plans to visit Ramallah next week, home of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government's headquarters, where PA President Mahmoud Abbas will brief him on the status of the peace talks with Israel.

"This visit shows that the man is interested in the Middle East," one PA official told The Jerusalem Post.

Earlier this week, Obama backtracked on a statement he made at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in June, when he said if elected, "Jerusalem would remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

"You know, the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech, and we immediately tried to correct the interpretation that was given," Obama said.

"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 1967 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent. I was not trying to predetermine what are essentially final-status issues," he said.

The Palestinians welcomed his correction, saying he "displayed sensitivity and a balanced stance."

While PA officials say his visit does not equate with their full endorsement of him, Hamas and Hezbollah have already announced their support for Obama in the 2008 election.

Obama's campaign tour includes visits to Jordan and Iraq, German, France and Britain.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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