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Obama to push two-state solution at U.N.

  |   Sept. 16, 2011 at 6:03 PM
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- President Obama will meet the head of Libya's Transitional National Council at U.N. headquarters in New York Tuesday and express his support for Libya's future.

The U.S. president will meet Tuesday with the rebels council chairman, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, and participate in a high-level multilateral meeting on Libya hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said at a White House briefing Friday.

Rhodes briefed reporters on Obama's upcoming trip to the United Nations, saying there is no indication Col. Moammar Gadhafi has left Libya but it is clear his regime has collapsed.

"The opposition has fully consolidated control of Tripoli," Rhodes said, adding the United States will "continue to work with the TNC as they seek to bring Gadhafi to justice."

Obama will also hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of Afghanistan, Turkey, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and Brazil while in New York next week.

The president will address the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday to "review the progress we've made in ending the war in Iraq as we wind down to the conclusion of our military operation at the end of this year, as well as our transition in Afghanistan," Rhodes said.

"The United States is winding down the two wars that have dominated our engagement with the world for the last 10 years," Rhodes said. "We have decimated the leadership of al-Qaida, and we've seen the advancement of human rights and democracy in parts of the world that had not known them before in the Middle East and North Africa. So it's a time of great promise, and I think that the president will be speaking to that promise."

Obama will discuss developments of the string of popular uprisings known as the Arab Spring with regional leaders, as well as express support for a negotiated, two-state settlement between Palestinians and Israelis.

"Clearly, we reached an impasse earlier this year as direct talks did not continue," Rhodes said. "But what we wanted to do was lay out principles that could be the basis for the parties to come back to the table. …

"We've been very clear that we don't believe that unilateral actions through the United Nations will lead to a Palestinian state, that the way to achieve a Palestinian state is through negotiations between the parties."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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