PM: Israel-US alliance strong

Netanyahu: Israel wants direct negotiations with PA.

July 11, 2010 15:41
2 minute read.
President Barack Obama walk with Israeli Prime Min

netanyahu obama 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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"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.

Netanyahu talked about his meeting with US President Barak Obama in Washington last week.

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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 in gaining 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 Ramallah.

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