News / USA

Obama, Netanyahu: US-Israel Bond 'Unbreakable'

Multimedia

Audio
  • Interview with Ben Cohen, the American Jewish Committee

U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say their countries' relationship is not strained and that the U.S.-Israel bond is "unbreakable."  The two leaders met at the White House Tuesday.  

Of the issues discussed between the two leaders, one of the most important was the U.S.-Israeli relationship itself.

After their meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters that the two countries' bond remains strong, despite several months of reported tensions between him and President Obama. "Reports about the demise of the special U.S.-Israeli relationship are not just premature, they are just flat wrong," he said.

Mr. Obama used a phrase echoed by his Israeli counterpart in reaffirming the strength of the relationship. "The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable," Mr. Obama said.

Ben Cohen with the American Jewish Committee discusses the call for Israel-Palestinian direct talks:

This was the first meeting between the two men since March 23, when Mr. Netanyahu was said to have received a chilly reception at the White House.  That meeting took place shortly after Israel announced, while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country, that it planned to build new Jewish settlements in mainly Arab East Jerusalem.

The prime minister postponed a scheduled June 1 follow-up visit to Washington after Israel's navy raided a Turkish-sponsored aid flotilla trying to break through an Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The blockade has eased in recent weeks to allow some humanitarian aid through.  President Obama on Tuesday praised the move. "I commended Prime Minister Netanyahu on the progress that has been made in allowing more goods into Gaza.  We have seen real progress on the ground.  I think it has been acknowledged that it has moved quickly and more effectively than many people anticipated," Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu discussed the need to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts beyond the current "proximity" talks that U.S. envoy George Mitchell is mediating.

President Obama said he and the Israeli leader agree about reviving direct talks that broke off in late-2008. "I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants peace.  I believe he is willing to take risks for peace.  And during our conversation, he once again reaffirmed his willingness to engage in serious negotiations with the Palestinians," he said.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said he is committed to face-to-face talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "I think it is high time to begin direct talks.  I think with the help of President Obama, President Abbas and myself should engage in direct talks to reach a political settlement of peace, coupled with security and prosperity," he said.

President Obama said he would like to see the direct talks start before the temporary freeze on Israeli settlement-building ends in September.

Mr. Abbas has refused to negotiate directly with Israel until it stops building settlements on land the Palestinians claim for their own state.

Mr. Netanyahu praised his host for putting pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear activities.  President Obama called the recent United Nations Security Council resolution against Iran the toughest sanctions ever, and referred to recent sanctions passed by the U.S. Congress as "robust."  

The president said he will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine its security.

Related video by Robert Raffaele:

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid