'Alliance between Israel and US is not faltering'

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Washington, July 12 (ANI): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his meeting in Washington with President Obama should lay 'to rest' the idea that the decades-old alliance between their two countries has frayed.

Netanyahu described his visit as positive and productive, and said that Obama had expressed a sincere understanding of the challenges facing his country as he moves toward pressing for direct peace talks with the Palestinians.

However, he refused to discuss certain 'confidential' aspects of the conversation, but revealed that about half of the meeting was devoted to a 'detailed' discussion of Israel's security concerns.

He further refused to disclose whether Obama approved of an Israeli-led military strike on Iran.

"If anyone thought that there was a change of U.S. policy or daylight between Israel and the United States on these questions, I think he did a lot to lay that to rest," he said.

According to the report, Netanyahu was assured by Obama that U.S. policy had not changed but he declined to compare Obama's approach to his predecessors'.

"I don't compare people. This is something you leave for biographies. But I can tell you there is a consistent line. And all U.S. presidents, from everyone that I met including President Obama, share what the president called the basic bedrock of this unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States," he added.

The duo expressed their mutual commitment on 6th July 2010 following their face-to-face meeting, which was much more public and friendly than in March, when meetings were conducted privately and there was no joint statement.

That meeting came at a time of high tensions between the two administrations, but Obama and Netanyahu claimed this past week that they were making progress.

The prime minister said the differences between them over settlements and the status of Jerusalem should not delay the start of face-to-face talks.

"We have differences of views with the Palestinians. We want a united city (in Jerusalem). They have their own views. This is one of the issues that will have to be negotiated. But I think the main point is to get on with it, what are we wasting more time for? Let's just get on with it," Netanyahu said. (ANI)

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