PM: We don't want to control Palestinians, but must maintain security
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
May 25, 2009 15:14
1 minute read.
Israel faces threats like other countries, and therefore its security is essential and cannot be compromised, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the onset of a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset on Monday as he reviewed his meeting with US President Barack Obama and members of his administration last week in Washington.
"We reached important understandings," Netanyahu said, "we agreed with the US that the first and foremost goal must be preventing Iran from attaining nuclear arms."
"Obama will be reassessing the diplomatic process [with Iran] at the end of the year, and all options remain open in order to reach the goal [of curbing Teheran's atomic aspirations.]"
"I told the president that Israel maintains its right to self defense," Netanyahu stressed.
"We renewed important strategic understandings. That's very important," the premier continued. "We received aid on concrete needs of the defense system for defending Israel."
Speaking of the peace process, Netanyahu spoke of the necessity of a regional process as seen by both the US and Israel.
"We agreed on the need to initiate a peace process not only with the Palestinians but with a regional element, which increases the chances of success of our efforts to reach peace," he noted. "The Americans said it is important to receive something in return from the Palestinians and Arab world, not only at the end of the process but also at the beginning. We said we don't want to control the Palestinians, but we have to maintain our security."
"There were disagreements as there are between friends but we will work to bridge them," Netanyahu said. "I emphasized in all the meetings that Israel is not like other countries. We are under threats no other countries are under, which must make our security a priority."