biden netanyahu in jerusalem 311 .
(photo credit: Emil Salman / Pool)
US Vice President Joe Biden expressed America's "absolute, total,
unvarnished commitment to Israel's security" at a press conference in
Jerusalem following a meeting with Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu
As such, Biden said, Washington was "determined
to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and we are working with
many countries around the world to convince Iran to meet its
international obligations to cease and desist."
of the US-Israel relationship, Biden said, was America's unwavering
commitment to Israel's security. "Bibi you heard me say before,
progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply
no space between the US and Israel. There is no space between the US
and Israel when it comes to Israel's security."Related articles:Biden tells Peres: There is a 'moment of opportunity' for peaceDeputy FM Ayalon: 4-8 weeks left for diplomacy on Iran
who said that he had "productive" talks with Netanyahu about a wide
range of issues, also took pains to praise Netanyahu for steps he has
taken to make a more conducive atmosphere for talks with the
"A peace agreement will require both parties to
make some historically bold commitments," Biden said. "You have done it
before, and I am confident for world peace you will do it again."
who has known Netanyahu for some 30 years, said he has taken some
significant steps, including "the moratorium that has limited new
settlement construction activity," and measures that have increased
Palestinian movement in the Wet Bank.
Palestinian leaders, he
said, are also "beginning to make progress" on efforts to reform their
institutions of government and make their security forces more
"It is easy to point fingers, particularly in this
part of world as to what each side has not done, but it is also
important to give credit where things have been done, in order to be
able to move forward," Biden said.
Biden said the US "will
always stand with those who take risks for peace," and added that
Netanyahu was willing to do that, and he hoped and expected that the
Palestinians would be prepared to do so as well.
Netanyahu, who thanked the US Administration for its support on a wide
range of issues – from preserving Israel's qualitative military edge to
support on the Goldstone Commission report - also called for tough
sanctions against Iran.
The Prime Minister also said he appreciated the Administration's
efforts to advance the peace process, and was "pleased that these
efforts are beginning to bear fruit."
At the end of the joint statements – no questions were taken from the
press – Netanyahu gave Biden a certificate saying that a ring of trees
was planted in memory of his mother, Catherine Eugenia Jean Finnegan
Biden, who passed away in January at the age of 92.
"My love for your country was watered by this Irish lady, who was
proudest of me when I was working with and for the security of Israel,"