U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met privately Monday morning at the White House.
In remarks to the press before their meeting, Netanyahu pledged that Israel would never give up on the hope that Palestinians would some day seek peace with the Jewish state. Israel has a strong “willingness to make peace with any of its neighbors” who seek it, Netanyahu said.
“I want to make it clear. We haven’t given up our hope for peace. We remain committed to the two-state solution,” said the Israeli leader. “two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state.”
The President said he and Netanyahu will talk about defense aid to Israel.
“This is going to be an opportunity for the prime minister and myself to engage in a wide-ranging discussion on some of the most pressing security issues that both our countries face,” President Obama said. “It’s no secret that the security environment in the Middle East has deteriorated in many areas, and as I’ve said repeatedly, the security of Israel is one of my top foreign policy priorities. And that’s expressed itself not only in words, but in deeds,” he asserted.
The two will discuss other topics such as the civil war in Syria, the rise of the Islamic State terror group, and the Iran nuclear deal, according to the President, who told the Israeli PM that both shared the resolve in wanting to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The President added that the two will also talk about the ongoing violence in Israel and the West Bank. “A lot of work to do, with too little time,” Obama said, after expressing his condolences to the Prime Minister over the death of former Israeli President Yitzhak Navon.
The body language of the two leaders remained serious and without smiles, according to reports.
Israel hopes to secure a boost in defense aid, with the goal of $5 billion dollars from the current $3 billion a year number.
The Israeli leader comes to Washington in the midst of a Palestinian terror campaign against his nation. On a daily basis, Palestinian jihadis have been targeting Israeli citizens and military personnel.