Shapiro: Peace talks will be on agenda for Obama visit

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 6, 2013 20:07

US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Jerusalem - the first of its kind since he entered the White House in 2009 - seeks to engage in "deep consultation with key partners," US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Channel 10 on Wednesday.

Shapiro confirmed that peace talks would be on the agenda, alongside other "critical regional security issues," but emphasized that Obama is coming to Israel to meet the new Israeli government as a "consultation visit."

"The visit will be a good opportunity to reaffirm the strong and enduring bonds of friendship between Israel and the US," Shapiro stated.

The US ambassador emphasized that the most pressing issues facing the two countries was the Iranian nuclear program and the need to deal with the potential transfer of chemical weapons in Syria.

Shapiro stopped short of labeling direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel as the goal of the visit, emphasizing that "no doubt renewal of negotiations is still a goal, but it may not happen in the course of one visit."


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