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Obama, Netanyahu discuss 'regional issues,' peace

August 11, 2011 08:35

Prime minister thanks US president for support of Iron Dome rocket defense system, pledge to continue joint security work.

US President Obama on the phone [illustrative]

US President Barack Obama speaks on the phone 311 (R). (photo credit:Reuters / White House)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with US President Barack Obama Wednesday in order "to consult on regional issues and efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East."

According to a White House statement, Netanyahu expressed appreciation for US support for Israel's security, in particular its support for the Iron Dome rocket and mortar defense system. It added that the two agreed to continue working closely together to address common security concerns.

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On Tuesday, new US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said he is confident that despite the difficult economic climate in the US, Washington’s financial commitments to Israel’s security will continue.

Shapiro, on a tour of an Iron Dome battery near Ashkelon, said America’s commitment to Israel’s security “has been consistent through many ups and downs of our own economy.”

The ambassador pointed out that even during the very difficult budget environment this year, US President Barack Obama and the Congress “were united in providing the full funding of Israel’s annual military systems package, as well as the additional $200 million represented in the Iron Dome Program. So, I have a lot of confidence that our commitments will continue.”

Shapiro said that the US’s commitment to Israel’s security was “iron-clad,” and said that “one of the most important examples of that commitment is in our cooperation on missile defense technology.”

Shapiro, a close Obama confidant who is expected to do his utmost to improve the perception of Obama in Israel, said that after Obama visited Sderot during the 2008 presidential campaign he “promised that the United States would continue to support Israel every way that’s necessary, and every way that’s possible in defending itself against the threat it faces.”
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