Outgoing United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday said India and China are experiencing remarkable growth, PTI reported. In his final speech as president to the United Naitons General Assembly, Obama also urged Israel to realise that it “cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land”, according to Reuters. Further, he asked Palestinians to “reject incitement and recognise the legitimacy of Israel”.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has said that Obama will hold a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to “discuss the need for genuine advancement of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
In an apparent reference to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Obama said that a “nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself”, CNN reported. Trump has favoured isolationist policies which include building a wall to stop illegal immigration and ban the entry of Muslims into the United States. Obama said the world faced the choice of either adopting a “better model of cooperation and integration” or “retreating into a world sharply divided and ultimately in conflict along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion”.
“Those of us who believe in democracy, we need to speak our forcefully. Because both the facts and history is on our side,” he said, adding that those calling for globalisation had ignored inequality, which had led to the politics of “aggressive nationalism”. Such politics represented “a crude populism, sometimes from the far-left but more often from the far-right, which seeks to restore what they believe was a better, simpler age, free of outside contamination". “We cannot dismiss these visions,” he added.
Obama’s remarks came even as the Syrian government withdrew its support for the ceasefire agreement on the civil war in the country brokered by the United States and Russia. While Washington has supported rebel groups, Moscow is seen as an ally of the Syrian president. The US also continues to co-ordinate global efforts in the fight against the Islamic State.