Netanyahu thanks Obama for opposing PA statehood bid

Leaders meet on sidelines of UN General Assembly in NY; Obama says US efforts for peace "put Israel's security at the forefront."

September 21, 2011 18:52
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Obama meet in New York

Netanyahu Obama 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday thanked US President Barack Obama for opposing the Palestinian bid for recognition of a state at the United Nations, saying the US president was wearing "a badge of honor" by insisting that negotiations are the only way to peace.

Netanyahu made the comments at a joint press conference with Obama prior to a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. The press conference came on the heels of Obama's address to the UN General Assembly in which he stated that he supported the creation of a Palestinian state, but only through direct negotiations with Israel.

Livni praises Obama speech; calls on PM to renew talks

Obama said at the press conference that it was a pleasure to welcome Netanyahu to the US, opining that Washington's "pursuit of a just and lasting peace" is compatible with Israel's needs and "puts Israel's security at the forefront."

Netanyahu stated that the Palestinian Authority's "attempt to get a state at the UN will not succeed."

"I think the Palestinians want to achieve a state, but are not prepared to give Israel peace in return," the prime minister added.

Netanyahu praised Obama for opposing the Palestinian's attempted "shortcut" to "avoid negotiations" and said he hoped other states would follow the US president's example.

The prime minister stated that the Palestinian bid for recognition of a state through channels other than negotiations between the two sides is "bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians and bad for peace."

Obama was slated to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the statehood bid later on Wednesday.

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