'Obama didn't mean to snub PM'

US president's top aide calls Washington talks "working meeting among friends."

March 28, 2010 16:25
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama's top adviser David Axel

david axelrod 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

A top aide of US President Barack Obama told CNN's State of the Union program on Sunday morning that Obama did not snub Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when the two met in the White House last week.

Reuters quoted David Axelrod as saying that the meeting between the US president and the prime minister was "a working meeting among friends." He reportedly added that "there was no snub intended."

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White House reporters and Israeli columnists raised the issue after the leaders' talks were closed to the media, without a photo-op or press release following the meeting.

"This was not about formalities. This was not about a ceremonial meeting. This was a working meeting. We have a deep, abiding interest in Israel's security," Axelrod said.

He added that Washington believes "the peace process is essential" to Israel's security. "We are doing everything we can to move that process forward," he told the news network.

Later on Sunday, Netanyahu vowed to cooperate with US peace efforts, saying Israel would continue to exercise moderation despite the lack thereof on the Palestinian side.

Meanwhile, senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett told ABC's This Week that friends like Israel and the United States can disagree without incurring damage. What's important is to be able to have frank conversations and move forward, she said.

Jarrett said Netanyahu should have no doubt about Obama's commitment to Israel's security.

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