News / Middle East

    Obama, Netanyahu Discuss Mideast Peace

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

    Before the Jewish Passover observance began on Monday, President Barack Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Mideast peace efforts, counter-terrorism cooperation and other issues.  The White House remains publicly silent on what Mr. Obama might say in the coming weeks about stalled Israel-Palestinian peace efforts.

    As they have done for the past two years at the White House, the president and first lady Michelle Obama marked Passover with a Seder in the Old Family Dining Room, attended by Jewish and other guests.

    A statement said President Obama made a Passover telephone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu to convey his best wishes, and he "recalled that the story of Passover is one of liberation and freedom, and expressed hope that the Israeli people would be able to celebrate in peace."

    Press Secretary Jay Carney gave reporters more details about the conversation between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu. "The two leaders also discussed U.S.-Israeli cooperation on counterterrorism, how best to move forward in efforts to advance Middle East peace, and the recent violence near the Gaza Strip," Carney said.

    President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu also discussed U.S. assistance for development of Israel's Iron Dome defense system, which will protect against rocket attacks of the kind Israel frequently faces from Gaza.

    Mr. Obama congratulated Prime Minister Netanyahu on the "impressive Israeli technological achievement," which the president noted was supported this year with $205 million above the amount of regular U.S.-Israel military aid.

    Although not mentioned in Monday's White House statement, Israeli news reports quoted President Obama as expressing gratitude to Mr. Netanyahu over the way Israel handled recent escalation of violence in Gaza.

    What the White House has not discussed in public recently is how President Obama plans to get Israel-Palestinian peace efforts back on track, nearly nine months after the president began a drive for an Israel-Palestinian peace agreement last September.

    Speaking at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Washington last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is committed to "renewed pursuit" of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

    "The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months.  Neither Israel's future as a Jewish democratic state or the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians can be secured without a negotiated two state solution," she said.

    Clinton repeated the U.S. position that only Israel and Palestinians can make hard choices necessary for peace, but said she and President Obama are committed to continued active American leadership.

    The White House has remained silent about what Secretary Clinton described as President Obama's plan to speak "in greater detail" in coming weeks about U.S. policy in the Mideast and North Africa.

    News reports have said Prime Minister Netanyahu has been preparing an initiative he plans to unveil when he comes to Washington next month to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress and talk with the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.

    In an interview with the Agence France Presse news service, Mr. Netanyahu declined to provide details, but he said the core issues remained Palestinians recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and Israeli security alongside a future Palestinian state.

    Asked whether the two men discussed Mr. Netanyahu's reported emerging initiative, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said only that the White House had nothing to add beyond Monday's description of the two leaders' Passover conversation.

    Monday's written White House statement said only the two men "agreed to stay in close touch on the range of issues facing the United States and Israel."

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora