(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
As part of Jerusalem's ongoing efforts to scuttle the Iranian nuclear weapons program, an Israeli delegation will be sent to Beijing, Ambassador to the US Michael Oren said Saturday.
“We are not too late,” Oren said in an interview with Channel 10. “We are in the thick of the process, both on the security and international fronts. Soon, an Israeli delegation will travel to China, but the big question is whether the Chinese will take part in this battle over sanctions.”
In the interview, Oren also related to claims by Noam Schalit, father of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, that the Obama administration was delaying a prisoner-swap deal for the release of his son.
“As an ambassador here, I do not feel that the Americans are delaying a deal,” said Oren.
Oren also downplayed reports of a strained relationship between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama. “Newspapers claim that something is amiss in the relationship,” but, said Oren, “the truth is that behind the scenes there is very good cooperation with this [Obama] administration.”
“We do not have any enemies there,” continued Oren. According to the ambassador, the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is a strong one. “There is a personal relationship and deep understanding between the two,” Oren said.
Regarding a recent incident where Palestinian students disrupted a speech he was giving at the University of California, Irvine, Oren said, “I did not respond in anger, but rather with disappointment. I decided to stay on the stage because we must not surrender.”
Oren went on to say that it is from American university campuses that the next generation of American leaders will hail, and that it is a front in the constant battle to explain the Israeli position.