VIDEO - US Vice President Joe Biden assured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that Israel enjoyed Washington's unstinting support for its security and repeated US intent to curb Iran's nuclear program.
"There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel's security," Biden said as the two leaders made statements to the media following talks in Jerusalem.
This was a message Biden had been widely expected to bring in person from President Barack Obama. Israeli political sources have said he is also making clear Washington does not want Israel to risk any military action against Iran while the United States is seeking a wide coalition for sanctions on Tehran.
Netanyahu said Israel's security priorities were ensuring Iran did not build nuclear weapons and establishing peace with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors.
"I very much appreciate the efforts of President Obama and the American government to lead the international community to place tough sanctions on Iran," he said.
"The stronger those sanctions are, the more likely it will be that the Iranian regime will have to chose between advancing its nuclear program and advancing the future of its own permanence."
Biden said he welcomed Netanyahu's move this week to begin US-mediated indirect talks with the Palestinians and said he hoped it would lead to direct negotiations that would produce a historic peace treaty.
The prime minister noted that he looks forward to working with the US administration and wishes to ensure that the Palestinians recognize Israel's legitimacy in order to guarantee security in the long-run.
Earlier on Tuesday Biden met with President Shimon Peres and he is slated to meet Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni later in the day.
The US vice president is also due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday.