Remarks by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Following are the remarks by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of their meeting earlier today (Wednesday, 1 October 2014), at the White House.
US President Obama:
“Well, it’s good, once again, to welcome the prime minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu. Obviously he’s no stranger to the White House. I think I’ve met with Bibi more than any world leader during my tenure as president.
We meet at a challenging time. Israel is obviously in a very turbulent neighborhood, and this gives us an opportunity once again to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel, and our ironclad commitmentto making sure that Israel is secure.
You know, throughout the summer, obviously, all of us were deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza. I think the American people should be very proud of the contributions that we made to the Iron Dome program to protectthe lives of Israelis at a time when rockets were pouring into Israel on a regular basis. I think we’ve also recognized that we have to find ways to change the status quo so that both Israeli citizens are safe in their own homes and schoolchildren in theirschools from the possibility of rocket fire, but also that we don’t have the tragedy of Palestinian children being killed as well, and so we’ll discuss extensively both the situation of rebuilding Gaza but also how can we find a more sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Our agenda will be broader than that, obviously. I’ll debrief Bibi on the work that we’re doing to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL and the broader agenda that I discussed at the United Nations, which is mobilizing a coalitionnot only for military action but also to bring about a shift in Arab states and Muslim countries that isolate the cancer of violent extremism that is so pernicious and ultimately has killed more Muslims than anything else. And we’ll also have an opportunityto discuss the progress that’s being made with respect to dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, which obviously has been a high priority for not only Israel but also the United States and the world community. So we have a lot to talk about and I appreciate very much the prime minister coming. It’s challenging, I think, for an Israeli prime minister to have to work so hard duringRosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but I know that the prime minister’s utmost priority is making sure that his country is safe during these difficult times, and we’re glad that the United States can be a partner in that process. Thanks.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu: