Obama, Netanyahu meet in Washington to discuss Palestine, Iran

March 3, 2014 at 5:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- Iran's nuclear program and Middle East peace talks headed the agenda as President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Monday.

"We're going to be talking about Iran and my absolute commitment to make sure that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon -- something that I know the prime minister feels very deeply about," Obama said before the pair began their bilateral discussions behind closed doors in the Oval Office.

"I think that goal can be achieved if Iran is prevented from enriching uranium and dismantles fully its military nuclear installations," agreed Netanyahu, who is in Washington for the annual AIPAC -- American Israel Public Affairs Committee -- meeting.

"There's nobody I've met with more or consulted with more" than the Israeli prime minister, and U.S.-Israeli relationship is "a testimony to the incredible bond between our two nations," Obama said.

Netanyahu said he looked forward to working with Obama "in the years ahead to address the main challenges that confront both our countries, and of these, the greatest challenge, undoubtedly, is to prevent Iran from acquiring the capacity to make nuclear weapons."

Obama spoke about the hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the possibility of creating "two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine in which people are living side by side in peace and security."

Netanyahu said he feels Israel has lived up to its agreements with the Palestinians by freezing and dismantling settlements, but "in return" Israel was targeted by "scores of suicide bombings, thousands of rockets on our cities fired from the areas we vacated, and just incessant Palestinian incitement against Israel."

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