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Joe Biden Urges Israel To Support Two-State Solution  

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Israeli President Shimon Peres Tuesday, while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was urging Israel to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

After meeting with President Obama at the White House, Mr. Peres said the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will honor the so-called road map to Middle East peace. That plan calls for side-by-side Israeli and Palestinian states.

"Mr. Netanyahu said that he will abide [by] the commitments of the previous government," said Shimon Peres. "The previous government accepted the road map."

Mr. Netanyahu has not officialy endorsed the proposal to create a Palestinian state.

The two-state solution has been at the center of U.S. efforts to mediate peace between Israel and the Palestinians for most of a decade.

Earlier Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden spoke before a major pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. He said a two-state solution is a necessary part of any negotiated peace in the region.

"The president is strongly and personally committed to achieving what all have basically said is needed: a two-state solution with a secure, Jewish state of Israel living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable and independent Palestinian state," said Joe Biden.

Biden said a two-state solution is also necessary to ensure Israel's survival as a Jewish democratic state.

"That is also the solution that Israel and the Palestinians committed to in the road map and reaffirmed in Annapolis [Maryland]," he said. "It can be achieved. It must be achieved."

Biden also urged Israel to allow Palestinians freedom of movement, and to stop building new Jewish settlements. He said Israel's security is not negotiable, and called on Arab states to make meaningful gestures toward Israel.

Mr. Obama and the Israeli president were also discussed Iran in their private meeting. Mr. Peres said Monday that Iran's nuclear activities threaten the region and the world.