Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO
Obama and Netanyahu
Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO

Netanyahu and Obama to meet next month at White House

Prime minister says he and the president will discuss Iran nuclear talks and peace process between Israel and Palestinians

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Barack Obama next month at the White House during a multi-faceted trip to the United States, the prime minister confirmed Monday, speaking to reporters at the end of a meeting of his Likud party's Knesset faction in Jerusalem.



Netanyahu said that the trip "has four objectives – first and foremost Iran." He said he and Obama would discuss the Iranian nuclear program.  


"Iran continues to object to any dismantling of its (uranium) enrichment capability - not even a single centrifuge," Netanyahu said in public remarks to legislators from his party.


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Iran denies Western allegations it has been seeking the means to make atomic weapons, saying such claims are baseless and fabricated by foes such as Israel, which is widely believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power.


Iran, he said, "has not changed a single aspect of its policy; it violates human rights; assists with and organizes massacres for the Assad regime; arms terrorist organizations; conspires against a great many nations. It's greatest provocation has been to send warships (into the Atlantic)."


The prime minister also said that he and the president would discuss the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, adding that he would reinforce Israel's stance on the issue.


"We stand by our demands – (Palestinian) renunciation of the right of return, security arrangements, (Palestinian) recognition of the Jewish state," he said.


The third purpose of the visit, Netanyahu said, was to promote Israel's economy, primarily in the technology sector. For that reason, his visit would include a trip to Silicon Valley in San Francisco, where he was to meet with Israeli business leaders. Finally, in Los Angeles, he would attend a viewing of a film promoting tourism in Israel.


The date of the meeting with Obama has not yet been finalized, reports said, but the prime minister is to deliver a speech at the annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington DC, which takes place on March 2-4.


Relations between the US and Israeli leadership has been tense in recent weeks, after Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett both criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for his plan for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.


Reuters contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 02.10.14, 15:11
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