US would 'repeat Bin Laden raid'

 

US president Barack Obama said today he would order an operation similar to that which led to the death of Osama Bin Laden if required.

He said if another militant leader was found in Pakistan the US could not allow "active plans to come to fruition without us taking some action".

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Obama said the US respected Pakistani sovereignty but that his job was to keep the United States secure.

"We are very respectful of the sovereignty of Pakistan. But we cannot allow someone who is actively planning to kill our people or our allies' people.

Bin Laden was killed in a raid by US Navy Seal commandos after they the compound where he was living in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad.

With regard to the Middle East Mr Obama said achieving peace would require two states living "side by side".

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Obama said it was "unrealistic" to seek to resolve issues between Israel and Palestine at the United Nations.

Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exist and Israel will need to feel confident in security, he said.

"There are going to need to be swaps to accommodate the interests of both sides," Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama has clashed with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu after suggesting that any final peace agreement should be drawn up along the borders in place prior to the 1967 war.

Speaking last night, before a speech today by Mr Obama to a pro-Israel group, Mr Netanyahu said reports of a disagreement “have been blown way out of proportion”. 

At the White House on Friday, Mr Netanyahu bluntly rejected Mr Obama's vision for the boundaries of a Palestinian state. 

In a sharp rebuke to Israel's closest ally, Mr Netanyahu told Mr Obama his endorsement in an address on Thursday of the Palestinian demand to go back to Israel's 1967 frontiers would leave Israel indefensible.

Mr Netanyahu's latest comments did not contain any change to that position.

But as Mr Obama prepared to address the annual assembly in Washington of the pro-Israel lobby organization AIPAC, where he could face a cool reception from some delegates, Mr Netanyahu appeared to be trying to calm any anger toward the president.

"It's true we have some differences of opinion, but these are among friends," the spokesman quoted him as saying. Mr Netanyahu believed that Mr Obama had "shown his commitment to Israel's security, both in word and in deed," the spokesman added.

Mr Obama told the BBC that said delivering peace in Afghanistan would “ultimately” mean talks with the Taliban. "We've been very clear about the requirements for any kind of serious reconciliation".

"The Taliban would have to cut all ties to al-Qaeda. Renounce violence. And they would have to respect the Afghan constitution. Now those are some fairly bare bones requirements”.

Agencies