McCain: Obama mistaken on Mideast

May 20, 2011 at 4:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- President Obama is repeating a mistake he made at the beginning of his administration with his call for a Palestinian state, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Friday.

McCain, R-Arizona, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, was interviewed by Sean Hannity, the ultra-conservative Fox News commentator. McCain said the president was wrong in his speech on Middle East policy to say that Israel should agree to a Palestinian state based on its borders in 1967.

"I think they're making the same mistake that they made at the beginning of the administration," McCain said. "As you may recall, as a precondition, President Obama called for a freeze on all settlements and then, of course, later on, dropped that -- that as a requirement but the Palestinians kept it as a requirement."

McCain said Hamas, which continues to control Gaza, is "committed to the extinction of the state of Israel."

"We all want peace talks. We all want a settlement. We all want that," McCain said. "Why can't we just say everybody sit down and you can work this out, the right of return, water, there are many a myriad of issues and if you truly are committed, the first thing you need to do is commit to your recognition of the right of the state of Israel to exist."

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