US President Barack Obama (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The United States has been forced to reassess its policy regarding the Middle East peace process, US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Thursday, after Netanyahu suggested earlier in the week he had abandoned the cause.
According to a White House official, speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Obama told Netanyahu that the US "will need to reassess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution."
"They also discussed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments about Israeli Arabs," the official added.
Netanyahu said in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Thursday that he never retracted his speech in Bar Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognized the Jewish state.
According to a statement released earlier on Thursday by the White House, during the call Obama congratulated the Israeli premiere on his win in Tuesday's elections. The US president also "emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries."
During the call, the two leaders "agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Obama "reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine."
On Iran, Obama "reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program."
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry briefly called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory, even as the State Department was “evaluating” its approach to the diplomatic process following Netanyahu’s comments that he would not support a two-state solution.
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