United States President Barack Obama
Photo: Pete Souza

Obama sends Israel Independence Day greetings

US president salutes Israel on its 63rd anniversary, reaffirms 'strong relations' with US, calls for 'comprehensive peace, two-state solution'

WASHINGTON - United States President Barack Obama sent his greetings Tuesday to the people of Israel as they celebrate their 63rd Independence Day.


Obama congratulated the State of Israel on its "remarkable achievements over the past six decades."


"Our two nations share a unique and unbreakable bond of friendship that is anchored in common interests and shared values, and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security," he reaffirmed the American support of Israel.


"Just as I know that Israel will always be one of our closest allies, I believe that the region can be more peaceful and prosperous when its people are able to fulfill their legitimate aspirations."


Obama addressed President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu, offering them and the people of Israel his "best wishes" as they celebrate their 63rd Independence Day.


He then recalled how "sixty-three years ago, when Israel declared its independence, the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland was finally realized. On that same day, the United States became the first country in the world to recognize the State of Israel."


"As Israelis celebrate their hard-won independence, it gives me great pleasure to extend the best wishes of the American people to the people of Israel and to honor their remarkable achievements over the past six decades," Obama congratulated Israel.


The US president added that he has "every confidence that the strong relationship between our countries will grow deeper with each passing year."


Ahead of Netanyahu's visit to Washington, Obama referred to the peace process with the Palestinians and said their joint effort with Israel and others in the region to "achieve comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution, and to working together toward a future of peace, security and dignity for the people of Israel and all the people of the region."


Obama to meet King Abdullah

Earlier on Tuesday, the White House announced that Obama will host Jordan's King Abdullah on May 17 to discuss unrest across the Middle East and the quest for Arab-Israeli peace.


The visit by the king, a player in past US-led Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, comes three days before Obama meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


"The president looks forward to discussing with King Abdullah the latest regional developments, ways to cooperate on political and economic reform," the White House said in a statement. "The president also welcomes continuing consultations with King Abdullah on the pursuit of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East."


Reuters contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 05.10.11, 10:06
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