There used to be this line among Iraq war supporters that the “road to Jerusalem runs through Baghdad,” meaning that the intractable problems of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict required the invasion of Iraq to be resolved. Or something. And so it’s noteworthy that this is what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said in his press conference today with President Obama:
I appreciate very much the call for dialogue that President Obama mentioned, especially between East and West, between Islam and Christianity, and also work to solve the Palestinian issue that will help reduce violence in the area drastically. It will help in giving people their rights also produce peace that we’ve been looking forward for a few years.
ThinkProgress does the yeoman work of rounding up conservative indignation to Obama’s call in Ankara for greater respect for and dialogue with the Islamic world. Maliki’s remarks won’t change any of the critics’ perspectives. But it remains the case that U.S.-supported leaders like Maliki recognize that their jobs would be a lot easier if the festering wound of Palestinian statelessness got a little more U.S. attention.