May 18, 2009 / 6:33 PM / 10 years ago

Palestinians see Obama statehood comments encouraging

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday U.S. President Barack Obama’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict was encouraging.

After meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, Obama said it was in the interests of both Israel and the Palestinians “to achieve a two-state solution.”

Netanyahu, in his remarks after the meeting, reiterated that he supported self-government for the Palestinians but made no mention of a state, a position underscoring a rare rift in U.S.-Israeli relations.

“The statements by Mr. Obama are encouraging while those by Prime Minister Netanyahu are disappointing,” Senior Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdainah said.

Writing by Ari Rabinovitch

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