Obama expresses concern about settlements in meeting with Netanyahu

September 21, 2016 20:48
1 minute read.

US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that had concerns about Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and hoped the United States could continue to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.

"Clearly there is great danger of not just terrorism but also flare-ups of violence," Obama said at the start of what will likely be his last meeting as president with Netanyahu.

"We do have concerns around settlement activity as well. And our hope is that we can continue to be an effective partner with Israel in finding a path to peace," Obama said as they met on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly.

Obama, who leaves office in January, made reference to a military aid agreement between the two allies.

"It is a very difficult and dangerous time in the Middle East, and we want to make sure that Israel has the full capabilities it needs in order to keep the Israeli people safe," he said.

Netanyahu, who has had a rocky relationship with Obama, said he appreciated their many talks about challenges facing his country.

"The greatest challenge is of course the unremitting fanaticism. The greatest opportunity is to advance ... peace. That's a goal that I and the people of Israel will never give up on," Netanyahu said.

 "We've been fortunate that in pursuing these two tasks, Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America."

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