Shalev: Shift in relations with US

Israel's ambassador to the UN says Jerusalem, Washington working towards two-state solution.

Gabriela Shalev 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy photos, Shahar Azran)
Gabriela Shalev 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy photos, Shahar Azran)
Relations between Israel and the US have shifted since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama took office earlier this year, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, said Tuesday. Speaking to reporters in New York, she added that the two governments were working towards a two-state solution, despite disagreements on the settlements issue. "There is a change that everybody can feel," she said. "We have now a government that is leaning toward the Right...and on the other hand, we have here in the United States a very different government than what we had during the time of the Bush administration." "We are willing to recognize a two-state solution," she stressed. "While we recognize the Arab state, they must recognize our rights - the Jewish nation - to live in our state. It means both should recognize each other." When asked if a three-way meeting between US, Israeli, and Palestinian leaders would be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, she said "there is a possibility." The ambassador's comments came just hours before Netanyahu was set to meet with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell in London. During the meeting, the two were expected to focus on the settlements issue much more than Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish homeland. Following his meeting with Mitchell in London on Wednesday, Netanyahu will fly to Germany for a day of talks there. He is scheduled to return to Israel early on Friday morning. Captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit is expected to be a major topic of conversation in Berlin. Herb Keinon contributed to this report