Obama says US 'concerned' about Israeli settlements
Last meeting between Obama and Netanyahu; Obama expresses concerns regarding settlement activityIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama met for an hour and a half and discussed the settlements.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama met for the last time yesterday (Wednesday) as the President’s tenure in the White House is almost over. The two spoke for an hour and a half, of which 25 minutes were in front of a smaller audience.
Obama repeated his concerns about the settlements hurting a two-state solution while Netanyahu claimed that they aren’t a barrier for peace. Netanyahu also presented a solution for improving political negotiations through a regional agreement but refused to give details.
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Regardless of the disputes, the meeting was described as good. An official from the Prime Minister’s entourage said that the meeting had a relaxed feel to it. Regarding the regional agreement, the official claimed that Netanyahu is planning to lead a more logical and practical path of action than the evacuation of settlements.
The official stated that the progress is fueled by a common interest within the Arab world due to Iran’s nuclear threats. The plan can incorporate real normalization and order that will improve life on the ground. However, details were not given regarding the progress made with the countries.
Meanwhile, preparations are being made for Netanyahu’s speech to the U.N. General assembly. The Prime Minister instructed his office not to disclose details about the speech and leak information. Senior level officials in his office said that the speech will be "different" from those he made in the past.
The two leaders, who have experienced ups and downs in their political relationship, opened the meeting with kind words in light of the defense aid agreement signed between the two countries. “I want to thank you for the extensive security and intelligence cooperation between our two countries,” said Netanyahu.
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