Obama touts US military aid in meeting with Netanyahu
At what is likely to be their last meeting before Obama leaves office in January, the US president and Israeli PM met in New York. Obama, while hoping that his country will pave a path to Israeli-Palestinian peace, clarified that he wouldn't be launching any new peace initiatives personally.
New York — US President Barack Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations on Wednesday in what is likely their last meeting before Obama leaves office in January.
At the start of their meeting on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly, Obama told reporters the United States still hoped to help pave a path to Israeli-Palestinian peace. He added that the conversation would bring up Syria and the condition of the West Bank.
Before the meeting, White House advisor Ben Rhodes said that the president would express his concern over construction in the West Bank and clarify that he would not launch a new peace initiative before leaving office.
Obama said a $38 billion US military assistance deal for Israel would ensure that Israel's military has the full capabilities it needs during a time of great uncertainty.
Obama says Netanyahu has "always been candid" with the US.
The president did not press Netanyahu over Israeli settlement construction as reporters were allowed in briefly for the start of their meeting. Despite this, a US official did add that Obama raised the "corrosive" effect that the settlements have on the peace process.
Netanyahu says Israelis will never give up on the goal of peace. He says Obama will continue to be an influential voice after he leaves office.