March 20, 2013
Obama, Netanyahu convey broad agreement on Iran, Syria, two state solution
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed broad consensus on Israel’s top security priorities in a statements following a meeting in Jerusalem.
In the statements, given Wednesday evening, the first day of Obama’s first presidential trip to Israel, Obama and Netanyahu emphasized the strength of the United States-Israel alliance. They both said that Iran cannot be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, that Israel should achieve peace with the Palestinians, and that the bloodshed in Syria’s civil war must end.
“I know you appreciate that Israel will never cede the right to defend itself to others, even its greatest friends, and Israel has no better friend than the United States,” Netanyahu said. “I look forward to continuing to work with you.”
Obama reiterated that the United States will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear capability.
Obama said multiple times that “we prefer to resolve this diplomatically” but that “all options are on the table.”
He then moved to discussing the peace process, which he said he would discuss more during his speech to the Israeli public on Thursday.
Netanyahu said that despite leading a new coalition government, Israel remained committed to the two-state solution.
Earlier in the day, Obama viewed the Iron Dome system and met with Israeli President Shimon Peres. During the remainder of the trip, which will end on Friday, Obama will visit Israeli cultural sites, speak to a crowd of Israeli citizens and meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He will then visit Jordan.