Report: Obama told Netanyahu he would 'push' Palestinians in peace process

Senior Obama administration says this week's meeting between the two leaders not as contentious as past encounters.

March 5, 2014 02:00
1 minute read.
Obama and Netanyahu

Netanyahu and Obama shake hands at start of Oval Office meeting, March 3, 2013. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during their meeting this week, that he would "push Palestinians" to match any Israeli concessions made in the peace talks, AFP reported Tuesday, quoting a senior Obama administration official. 

"It's not as though the Palestinians are going to get a pass," the official said.

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The official told AFP that the talks between the leaders "were not as contentious as some previous encounters between the two men."

"It's not as though the Palestinians are going to get a pass," the official said.

Netanyahu met with Obama in the Oval Office on Monday, pushing back against pressure from the White House to swiftly cut a deal with the Palestinians as the president warned time was running out for peace.

Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to formally call on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland – what he has called the “minimal requirement” for peace.

A nine-month deadline on talks set by the US will expire next month, unless all parties agree to extend negotiations. 

Obama praised Netanyahu in front of the press Monday for participating in “very lengthy, painstaking negotiations” over the course of eight months, and recognized that Israel would not accept a peace accord that failed to recognize its strategic security needs.

Michael Wilner contributed to this report. 

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