May 17 - After meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, U.S. President Obama said Mideast peace efforts are now ''more vital than ever.'' Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Jordan's King Abdullah at the White House. Against the backdrop of popular unrest sweeping the Arab world, the two leaders spoke about the Arab uprising -- concluding it was "more vital than ever" to get Israel and the Palestinians back to negotiating table. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama, saying (English): "We discussed the rapid transformation that is taking place in places like Egypt and Tunisia, and we both agree that it is critical that not only political reform proceed but economic reform accompanies those changes there because so much of what is taking place has to do with the aspirations of young people throughout the Arab world for their ability to determine their own fate, to get an education, to get a job, to be able to support a family. And that means that some of the old structures that were inhibiting their ability to progress have to be reworked." Amid renewed violence in the Mideast Obama spoke of renewing peace efforts without offering a new plan. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama, saying (English): "We both share the view that despite the many changes, or perhaps because of the many changes that are taking place in the region, it is more vital than ever that Israelis and Palestinians find a way to get back to the table and begin negotiating a process whereby they can create two states that are living side-by-side in peace and security. Abdullah also focused on the Mideast conflict. SOUNDBITE: Jordan's King Abdullah, saying (English): "And, again, you continued interest and support on the core issue of the Middle East, which is the Israeli -Palestinian peace. We are very, very grateful for the President's role in all these issues. I am delighted to be back here, and I will continue to be a strong partner with your, sir, on all the challenges that we face in the Middle East. The President plans to give a major policy speech on the Middle East Thursday. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.