In final meeting with Netanyahu, Obama says US 'concerned' about Israeli settlements

This is the final meeting between the two leaders during Obama's presidency, concluding a tense and rocky relationship.
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US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Obama, for whom this was the last meeting with Netanyahu as president, expressed hope for a productive future dialogue between the two allies.

Netanyahu spoke first and thanked Obama for his commitment to Israel's security throughout his presidency. "I don't know if people, at large, understand the breadth and depth of our cooperation," he said. "But I know, and I want to thank you on behalf of all the people of Israel."

Obama began his address by wishing a speedy recovery to Shimon Peres, Israel's former president who has been hospitalized since last week following a stroke.

He then stressed that Israel's bond with the US was "unbreakable" and said the Memorandum of Understanding they signed recently was indicative of it. "It provides an insurance and a foundation for the kinds of ongoing military and intelligence cooperation that has been the hallmark of our relationship," he said.

Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Obama said, "Our hearts go out to those who've been injured, Israeli and Palestinian," he continued. "Clearly there is great danger of terrorism and flare-ups of violence. We do have concerns about settlement activity as well. Our hope is that we can continue to be an effective partner with Israel in finding a path to peace."

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