US President Barack Obama reassured Jewish American leaders Thursday that his administration's commitment to Israel remains "unshakable," despite recent tension between Jerusalem and Washington over a moratorium on Jewish construction in the West Bank.

In a letter from Obama to Alan Solow, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the US president wrote that his administration is committed to a "special relationship with Israel and that will not change.

"Our countries are bound together by shared values, deep and interwoven connections, and mutual interests," he added. "Many of the same forces that threaten Israel also threaten the United States and our efforts to secure peace and stability in the Middle East. Our alliance with Israel serves our national security interests.”

“As we continue to strive for lasting peace agreements between Israel, the Palestinians, and Israel’s neighbors, all sides should understand that our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable and that no wedge will be driven between us. We will have our differences, but when we do, we will work to resolve them as close allies.”

The US president added that “for over 60 years, American Presidents have believed that pursuing peace between Arabs and Israelis is in the national security interests of the United States.” He also addressed the Middle East peace process, asserting that he would not impose “peace from the outside; it must be negotiated directly by the leaders who are required to make the hard choices and compromises that take on history.”

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