US Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), the chairman of the Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations assured President Shimon Peres on Tuesday that US President
Barack Obama is committed to preventing Iran from progressing with its nuclear
program, which he termed a strategic issue for the United States.
who is on one of his periodic visits to Israel and other parts of the Middle
East, also discussed developments in the region and bilateral relations between
the US and Israel.
At the outset of the discussion, Peres told Kerry that
it was important for most of the countries of the world to continue to work
together in a united front against Iran in order to halt the development of
As he has said many times before, Peres underscored that
Iran is a threat not only to Israel but to world peace. He voiced his confidence
in Obama, saying that he believes that the American president is serious in his
intentions and that he will honor his commitments.
With regard to the
Israeli- Palestinian conflict, Peres said that Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas had delivered an inspiring address the previous day in which he
had said that there was no time to wait for elections because no one could
accurately predict the outcome of developments in the Middle East, and no one
had any control over the new realities.
The coming months will be the
most critical, said Peres, and the path to peace has to be navigated carefully
Turning to Egypt’s presidential campaign, Peres welcomed
the assurance by former Egyptian foreign minister and exhead of the Arab League
Amr Moussa that Egypt would continue to honor the peace treaty with
This is a testing time, Peres told Kerry, who will head for Egypt
As he was taking his leave of Peres, Kerry said that the US
administration was looking forward to the ceremony in June in which Obama will
present Peres with the Medal of Freedom.
Supporters of Jonathan Pollard –
who has spent nearly 27 years in prison for espionage – have urged Peres not to
accept the medal unless Pollard is granted freedom from
Peres has personally appealed to Obama to release Pollard.