No big surprises in President Obama's address on Palestinian statehood today: He reaffirmed US opposition to a Security Council vote on the matter and said it had to be accomplished through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations instead, reports the Wall Street Journal. The takeaway quote: "There is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades," Obama said. "Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations."
Afterward, he met with Benjamin Netanhyahu, who praised the US opposition to a vote on statehood as a "badge of honor," notes the Jerusalem Post. Obama meets later today with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, with all signs still pointing to a postponement of a vote for weeks or longer so talks can resume. Nicolas Sarkozy spoke after Obama and delivered what the New York Times described as a "sharp repudiation" to the US. He backed a vote in the General Assembly, as opposed to the Security Council, that would be a first step toward statehood. “Let us cease our endless debates on the parameters,” he said. "Let us begin negotiations and adopt a precise timetable.” Click here for the full text of Obama's speech. (Read more President Obama stories.)