Obama Netanyahu 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Barack Obama wished Israel a happy 63rd birthday on Independence Day on Monday night.
"Sixty-three years ago, when Israel declared its independence, the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland was finally realized," Obama said in a statement provided by the White House. "On the same day, the United States became the first country in the world to recognize the State of Israel."
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"It gives me great pleasure to extend the best wishes of the American people to the people of Israel and to honor their remarkable achievements over the past six decades," he added.
Obama also mentioned the "unique and unbreakable bond of friendship" between the the US and Israel, "that is anchored in common interests and shared values and the United States' unwavering commitment to Israel's security."
He said: "I have every confidence that the strong relationship between our countries will grow deeper with each passing year."
In addition, the US president wished for peace and prosperity in the Middle East, in light of recent upheaval.
"We will continue our efforts with Israel and others in the region to achieve a comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution, and to
working together toward a future of peace, security and dignity for the
people of Israel and all the people of the region," Obama said.
Obama will host Jordan's King Abdullah on May 17 to discuss unrest across the Middle East and the quest for Arab-Israeli peace, the White House said on Monday.
The visit by the king comes three days before Obama meets Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu whose relationship with the president has sometimes been strained.
Obama's attempts to broker a Middle East peace deal have yielded little since he took office, but he has insisted there is an urgent need to seize the opportunity created by political upheaval in the broader Arab world.