In a speech at the State Department today, Pres. Obama addressed the shifting political landscape in the Middle East as a "historic opportunity in Mid East and North Africa." He outlined the U.S. role in the region and said the borders of Israeli and Palestinian states should be based on 1967 borders.
The President' also focused on political reforms in Arab countries. "Successful democratic transitions [in the Middle East depend upon an expansion of growth and broad-based prosperity," Obama said.
"In the months ahead," said Obama, "America must use all our influence to encourage reform in the region."
He later called on Israel and Palestine to “cast off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace." Adding, "the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."
The President's speech also focused on political reforms in Arab countries. "Successful democratic transitions [in the Middle East] depend upon an expansion of growth and broad-based prosperity," Obama said. Elaborating he added that it’s important "to focus on trade, not just aid; and investment, not just assistance."
Tomorrow, Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. The conversation will likely surround Obama's called for his announced border swap between Israel and Palestine.
And this weekend, Pres. Obama will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the largest pro-Israel lobby in the U.S.