News / Middle East

Israel's Netanyahu Heads to US for Talks with Obama

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, Feb. 24, 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, Feb. 24, 2014.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, Feb. 24, 2014.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, Feb. 24, 2014.
Robert Berger
Israel’s leader is on his way to Washington for a summit Monday at the White House. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says two key issues are on the agenda for when he meets with President Barack Obama.

Speaking at the airport in Israel before leaving for Washington, Netanyahu said the leaders will discuss Iran’s nuclear program and peace talks with the Palestinians.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel believes the Islamic Republic is building nuclear weapons that could threaten the existence of the Jewish state. Netanyahu wants the United States to take a tougher stand in nuclear talks between the world powers and Iran.

The prime minister’s spokesman Mark Regev says the goal of the talks must be to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program.

“Now, the ayatollahs in Tehran are not going to suddenly dismantle their military, nuclear capabilities because they’ve had an inspiration of goodwill; they will do so only if there’s pressure on them," Regev said. "And keeping that international pressure on, we believe is crucial.”

On the Palestinian track, Obama is expected to press Netanyahu to accept a US-proposed framework for the creation of a Palestinian state. The aim is to keep the peace talks going until the end of the year, after an April deadline for a final peace agreement could not be achieved.

The framework tackles the thorniest issues of the conflict including the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements, security and final borders.  But the gaps are wide.

“The Americans have now changed their focus," said Herb Keinon, diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. "The original intention was to finish the whole thing in nine months. That was not possible, so you had a change of strategy. So I think we are moving toward the framework, but once we even get that framework, does that mean we will be able to move to a final agreement? I am not sure.”

Obama hopes his personal involvement will help bridge the gaps. After hearing from Netanyahu, he will hold a follow-up meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in two weeks at the White House.

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Comment Sorting
by: Davidski from: Sevastopol
March 03, 2014 3:21 AM
Awww poor Bibi, him and his country are not front and centre of attention with their next existential threat that needs American and other Goyim soldiers to spill blood over. Those pesky paceful Iranians are not headlines when G8 and other western backed
Neo-Nazi's are hijacking Ukraines parliament and bending it to their will for others benefit. So Bibi has to plod over there and waste more oxygen berating Obummer for not saying how high when the elders shouted JUMP. With luck he will overfly the Black Sea and get shot down!

by: gmathol from: Palestine
March 02, 2014 7:49 PM
To late. The events in Ukraine have changed the political map - that means Iran will get anything from Russia.

It is over.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 02, 2014 2:09 PM
I feel Benjamin Netanyahu needs not go to the White House for any consultation any more. Certainly there is no love lost between him and Barack Obama. For that reason it is best to leave everything till after 2016 by which time a better relationship from the White House may be evolved. For now, the goalpost has been shifted badly in the Iran nuclear deal that whatever Netanyahu had hoped for must have been seriously distorted - Iran says its nuclear program cannot be dismantled - unless Israel wants to inform USA it wants to go to war alone. But he should be wary of the betrayal whereby Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave away Israel's secret service in the region leading to making deaths and destruction of the espionage ring - everything is imaginable if dealing with an enemy posing like a friend. On the Palestinian issue, the gambit is to keep mute and watch whatever the White House is offering, but right now the solution coming from the stables out there cannot be right. Best choice, let Obama's regime fizzle away. Let another handle that effort, until his bowels burst, his habitation become desolate and his office another. Cool it until after 2016. For neither the Palestinian issue nor the Iran nuclear program is going to settle in favor of Israel while Barack Obama is at the hem of affairs.
In Response

by: Dr. Salman Khan from: USA
March 02, 2014 11:38 PM
Godwin, i respect your opinions greatly and have taken great delight reading them. But even you must see that Israel will not act against Iran without the approval of the WH, Senate, and Congress. or in the alternative (if Obama proves to be a complete defect) Angela Merkel and Putin. You see, Israel's wealth is in brain works, they do not sit of a sea of oil... they must have trade partners - and they can not have China as their costumer because the US might frown... they can't have Putin because the US might frown... so, they have very limited choices... US, Canada, Britain, Japan and Germany... that's it.

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