July 6, 2010
Posted: 09:00 PM ET
Stressing the unbreakable ties between their nations, U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Tuesday for direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians while agreeing that the international community is strengthening efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
The two leaders spoke to reporters after meeting for more than an hour at the White House, twice shaking hands for the cameras as part of an effort to dispel the notion that relations between the United States and Israel have frayed in recent months.
Obama said the bond between the United States and Israel is "unbreakable" and added that his country remains "unwavering in our commitment to Israel's security." Netanyahu chose to paraphrase American humorist Mark Twain by noting that reports of the demise of U.S.-Israeli relations "aren't just premature, they're just flat wrong."
The meeting, their fifth since Netanyahu took office last spring, focused on revitalizing the Middle East peace process as well as discussing other issues, including efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal.
Both Obama and Netanyahu stressed the importance of moving toward direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Presently, Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas aren't talking directly, but communicating through U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who serves as a go-between for negotiations.
Filed under: Politics
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