HUFFINGTON POST
07/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Obama On Middle East Trip: US Must Lead By Example, Be "Honest" With Israel

In an interview with the BBC's Justin Webb, President Obama discussed his upcoming trip to the Middle East, which will include a much-anticipated speech in Cairo, Egypt.

Obama pledges in the interview that he will not try to impose American values on other countries. However, he also notes that certain values, such as "democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion" are universal, and thus fair game for other world leaders to be "encouraged" to uphold.

WATCH:

More from the BBC here.

In another interview, this one with NPR's All Things Considered host Michele Norris, Obama discussed the US approach to Israel. Obama says he believes a two-state solution is the only viable option, but that doesn't mean "we have to change strong support for Israel." From NPR:

The president also suggested that the United States' special relationship with Israel requires some tough love. "Part of being a good friend is being honest," Obama said. "And I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory, in the region is profoundly negative, not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests. And that's part of a new dialogue that I'd like to see encouraged in the region."

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