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(photo credit: Associated Press)
"The alliance between Israel and the US is stable and strong. It has the support of the American administration and people," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting Sunday.
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Netanyahu talked about his meeting with US President Barak Obama in Washington last week.
Netanyahu said that he reiterated to Obama "Israel's desire to proceed
immediately to direct negotiations
with the PA, with the goal being to advance the diplomatic process and
try to reach a peace agreement."
Regarding the Iranian threat Netanyahu talked of the "the danger of Iran
achieving nuclear weapons and thereby threatening not only Israel, the
Middle East and the peace therein but the entire world as well."
Netanyahu stated that "President Obama and the White House reiterated
the American commitment to important strategic understandings with the
State of Israel in this area."
The release of Gilad Schalit was also discussed while Netanyahu was in
the US and he said at the cabinet meeting that he "asked the President
to use his full strength and influence to help us in achieving Gilad's
release after four years of captivity, in which he was been denied any
Red Cross visits – another war crime being perpetrated by Hamas."
Netanyahu also discussed his meetings with Secretary of Defense Robert
Gates and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying he spoke with
them about the diplomatic process and Israel's plans to strengthen
itself in the face of the possible plans of others in the region.
Netanyahu stated that he planned to meet Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak in Egypt on Tuesday to discuss ways in which progress in
negotiations can be achieved.
In addition to discussing the
re-starting of direct negotiations with the Palestinians, Israeli
officials said Netanyahu will brief Mubarak about his talks with Obama
in Washington and about the changes in Israel’s policy regarding the
blockade of Gaza.
The announcement that Netanyahu will enlist Mubarak's help
direct talks comes days after the prime minister met
Obama in Washington and implored him to pressure Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to face to face negotiations.
Obama on Friday phoned
PA President Mahmoud Abbas
and urged him to change his mind about
holding direct talks with Israel, according to a Palestinian official in