Mahmoud Abbas to Meet With Obama Today

May 28, 2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

President Barack Obama is slated to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today, to discuss what Press Secretary Robert Gibbs calls “ways the United States can strengthen and deepen our partnerships.”

Abbas has already stated that he plans to focus his discussion with Obama on continuous settlement expansion in the West Bank, but has also noted he believes there is a real chance at comprehensive peace in the region.

Amnesty International USA has sent a letter to President Obama asking that he raise some concerns of his own—namely human rights violations by members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in areas under PA control.  Arbitrary detentions, disregard for due process and ill-treatment and torture of detainees in PA detention centers continue to be reported.  Additionally, the Al Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Gaza, the armed wing of the Fatah party led by President Abbas, have also been linked to indiscriminate rocket fire into southern Israel which violates the rules of war.

President Obama should raise these concerns as the atmosphere of impunity and continued human rights violations by the PA reflects badly on U.S. personnel and resources assigned to train PA security forces, undermines confidence in rule of law and hinders any progress in peace negotiations.

Samah Choudhury contributed to this post