News / Middle East

Israel: Obama Visit to Focus on Iran, Syria, Palestinians

 President Barack Obama waves following his arrival on Marine One helicopter from the House Democratic Issues Conference in Lansdowne, Virginia, as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, February 7, 2013. President Barack Obama waves following his arrival on Marine One helicopter from the House Democratic Issues Conference in Lansdowne, Virginia, as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, February 7, 2013.
x
 President Barack Obama waves following his arrival on Marine One helicopter from the House Democratic Issues Conference in Lansdowne, Virginia, as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, February 7, 2013.
President Barack Obama waves following his arrival on Marine One helicopter from the House Democratic Issues Conference in Lansdowne, Virginia, as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, February 7, 2013.
Robert Berger
Israel is gearing up for the visit of the president of the United States, which is expected next month.

Barack Obama’s visit to Israel will be his first as U.S. president, and the issue topped the agenda at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the upcoming visit underscores the strong alliance between the United States and Israel.

It will be the first time the two leaders have met since each won re-election:  Obama in November and Netanyahu last month.

Netanyahu said the visit will focus on three issues: preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the civil war in neighboring Syria and its implications on the region, and resuming peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Both leaders hope to find common ground after sharp public disagreements during their previous term over Iran and the Palestinians.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel and the United States believe the Islamic Republic is building nuclear weapons that could threaten the existence of the Jewish state.  However, Obama has opposed Israeli threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, saying there is more time for diplomacy.

US President Barack Obama is seen with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walking toward the East Room of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010.US President Barack Obama is seen with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walking toward the East Room of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010.
x
US President Barack Obama is seen with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walking toward the East Room of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010.
US President Barack Obama is seen with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walking toward the East Room of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010.
The president has also condemned Israel’s expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that have caused a four-year deadlock in the peace process.

Obama will discuss reviving peace talks when he visits the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.  Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi says it is an opportunity for change.

“We hope that it does signal a seriousness of intent in terms of re-engaging in a positive and constructive way, not by launching negotiations for their own sake, but rather by providing clear steps in order to end this Israeli occupation and to prepare the ground effectively for a just peace,” Ashrawi said.

Since winning re-election, Prime Minister Netanyahu has called on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.  He says he hopes to form a national unity government with moderate parties that support the peace process.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid