Planet Washington

Posted by Planet Washington on March 11, 2013 in News Clips

President Obama met today at the White House with a contingent of Arab American groups, ahead of next week's trip to the Middle East, several of the organizations said.

The meeting wasn't on Obama's official schedule -- nor was a similar meeting last week with Jewish American leaders. But the groups that met with Obama released a joint statement that says they were "pleased to have shared with President Obama our recommendations for the vital message that he should convey to the Palestinian people." 

They called the meeting an "important opportunity for Arab Americans to share our views, and continue to serve as a bridge between the US and the Arab world. Our meeting underscored the President's recognition of the importance of our community's contributions to discussions of policy in the region."

The groups said the U.S., "through sustained, balanced, constructive engagement, can facilitate a peaceful, lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict–a resolution that is essential to long-term security in the Middle East."

Obama has made it clear he's not going to the Middle East with an overarching plan for peace talks, but a successful trip could make such prospects possible in the future.

The groups included the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine, the American Task Force for Palestine and the Arab American Institute.

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