Obama-Netanyahu minimizes differences renew call for peace
WASHINGTON (AP) — Minimizing obvious dissimilarities, President Barack Obama, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed their commitment to seeking indefinable Middle East peace on Monday though prospects for an agreement amid Israelis and Palestinians appear ever further out of reach.
The U.S. and Israeli leaders’ meeting at the White House marked the first time they had talked face-to-face in more than a year. They have long had a frosty relationship, and tensions peaked earlier this year amid Obama’s pursuit of an Iran nuclear deal that Netanyahu vigorously opposed.
Monday’s meeting was an attempt to reset ties for the final year of Obama’s presidency.
In comments to reporters before their private talks, they sidestepped their disagreement on Iran, with Obama calling it a “narrow issue.”
“We don’t have an argument on the need to making sure Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and we don’t have a disagreement about us blunting destabilizing activities in Iran that may be taking place,” Obama said. “So we’re going to be looking to make sure we find common ground there.”
Netanyahu didn’t mention the Iran matter at all in his public comments. But in their two-hour-long private session, Obama and Netanyahu discussed ways to cooperate to ensure Iran lives up to its commitments under the deal, said a senior Obama administration official, who wasn’t authorized to comment by name and requested anonymity.
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