Israeli President to Obama: Support the independent Kurdish state, don't try to save Iraq as a single political unit.
Israeli President to Obama: Support the independent Kurdish state.
Shimon Peres told Barack Obama, support the independent and democratic de-facto state of the Kurds.
June 26, 2014
WASHINGTON,— Shimon Peres gave Barack Obama a tour d’horizon of the convulsive Middle East at the White House on Wednesday, leaving his 40 year younger American counterpart with a piece of simple advice: Stick with your friends, no matter how flawed they may be, so that they will help you fight your real enemies.
Support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is a “courageous partner in peace,” Peres said. Support newly-elected Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi who is “pro-American.” Support Jordan. Fight Hamas and Iran. Oh, and don’t try to save Iraq as a single political unit: It’s a lost cause, unless you or anyone else is willing to invest massive military forces, which you’re not. Support the independent and democratic de-facto state of the Kurds instead.
Peres met with Obama as part of his farewell tour of the U.S. capital, a month before he is due to leave office on July 27. He told Obama that he is looking forward to being liberated from the “golden cage” of the Israeli presidency, to which Obama replied: “That’s how I feel too.”
After meeting for almost three hours with Obama and his staff as well as with American Jewish leaders who had been previously scheduled to come to the White House, the 90-year-old Peres went out in the sweltering Washington heat to brief Israeli reporters and then the American press on his talks. Despite the best efforts of his aides, Obama himself did not agree to talk publicly at Peres’ side or to make any statement at their joint photo-op, possibly because he wanted to avoid potentially embarrassing questions on Iran, Iraq – or his relations with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Peres said that the West should not take sides in the confrontation between Sunni and Shia in the Arab world. “This is something that the Arab League might do: they have the means and they have the forces.” Peres was pessimistic, however, about the possibility that Iraq will stay united, saying that the Kurdswww.Ekurd.net have already set up a “democratic and independent” state that is supported by Turkey.
Peres said that the nuclear issue of Iran should be dealt with “like Syria” – by removing “dangerous levels of enriched uranium” from its soil. He said that Obama had told him that there had been “progress” in the talks with Iran, but if no agreement is reached, the U.S. will reinstall the sanctions regime as before.