Biden says there is a 'moment of opportunity' for peace

March 9, 2010 10:45

US VP meets Peres, says "since our administration came to power Iran is more isolated"; stresses "absolutely no space between Israel and US" where Israel's security is concerned.

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US Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Pres

biden and peres shake hands in israel 311 GPO. (photo credit: GPO)

"The interests of both the Palestinians and the Israeli people, if everyone would just step back and take a deep breath, are actually very much more in line than they are in opposition," US Vice President Joe Biden said after a meeting with President Shimon Peres on Tuesday morning.

According to Biden, there is a "moment of opportunity" for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Biden is making the highest-level visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by an Obama administration official.

Regarding Iran, Biden said, "Since our administration came to power, I would point out that Iran is more isolated - internally, externally - has fewer friends in the world."

Ahead of a meeting with Peres on Tuesday, Biden also said there is "absolutely no space between Israel and the United States" where Israel's security is concerned.

Biden, Netanyahu set to focus on Iran

Biden noted that “There is an international attempt to isolate Israel right now and sometimes we’re our own worst enemy by playing into the hands of those who wish to do that.”

Peres told his guest, "We have trust in President Obama," calling on Washington to "surround Iran with an envelope" to protect Israel against Teheran's "missiles and nuclear threat."

"Nobody knows exactly what they are doing," he said.

Hours after Biden's arrival Monday, the US announced that Israel and the Palestinian Authority would begin indirect peace negotiations, breaking a 14-month deadlock.

Biden is slated to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before continuing to Jordan on Thursday.

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