Press Release: SOTU Underscores Obama's Commitment to Middle East Peace, Security

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In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama addressed in detail the issues that are at the heart of APN's mission and activities.

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee offered the following comments on the address:

"In his State of the Union -- his annual address to Congress and the American people highlighting the most important issues and priorities on the nation's agenda -- the President rightly singled out for special mention his Administration's efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 'As we speak,' he said, 'American diplomacy is supporting Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in difficult but necessary talks to end the conflict there; to achieve dignity and an independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel.'

"APN strongly supports the Obama Administration's Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, recognizing that ending this conflict and achieving peace and a two-state solution are vital to the national security interests of both the U.S. and Israel. President Obama and Secretary Kerry deserve praise and support for their commitment to this goal, and APN urges them to continue their efforts, until they see success. The road will not be easy, as President Obama knows well, but the alternative is as untenable as it is unthinkable: continued and escalating conflict, and the demise of Israel as a democracy and a Jewish state. As rumors circulate of the imminent introduction of U.S.-authored framework language, we hope fervently that this framework language, when it is introduced, truly opens the way forward to a just and lasting solution to this conflict, and that both sides seize the opportunity to end the stalemate and move toward a better, more peaceful, secure future for both peoples.

"At the same time, President Obama used his State of the Union to speak compellingly and at length about his efforts to leverage diplomacy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. President Obama spoke with well-earned pride of the achievements of diplomacy thus far: halting progress of Iran's nuclear program, rolling back parts of that program, seeing Iran begin to eliminate its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, halting the installation of advanced centrifuges, and ensuring unprecedented inspections. He emphasized, importantly, that the U.S. is clear-eyed in its engagement with Teheran, and that any long-term agreement with Iran must be based on verifiable action that will convince the U.S. and its allies that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb.

"APN stands with the Obama Administration in defending and supporting this diplomatic effort. President Obama noted that, if diplomacy works, 'we will have resolved one of the leading security challenges of our time without the risks of war.' APN agrees that these are the stakes, with implications for the national security of the U.S., Israel, and the world. We believe that any efforts to undermine this diplomatic effort are irresponsible, if not criminally negligent. We have worked energetically with our grassroots and in Congress to ensure that President Obama and his negotiators have the space they need to continue to engage with Iran in the effort to find a diplomatic solution. We support President Obama's call on Congress to refrain from passing new legislation that could threaten the ongoing diplomacy, and fully endorse his promise to veto any such legislation, if it is sent to his desk."

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