WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is making it clear that the U.S. stands behind the protesters who have risen up across the Middle East and North Africa.
In a wide-ranging Middle East speech, Obama said the leader of Syria should either embrace democracy or move aside.
He said the U.S. has a historic opportunity and a responsibility to support the rights of people clamoring for freedoms.
But Obama also angered Israel by endorsing a Palestinian demand concerning the borders of a future state.
He's urging that the state be created based on 1967 borders -- before the war in which Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. And it marks a significant shift in the U.S. approach.
The statement brought an immediate negative response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who says the 1967 borders are "indefensible."
He'll have a chance to make that point to Obama in person tomorrow, when they meet at the White House.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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