March 20, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised President Obama's visit to
as a demonstrable reaffirmation of the vitality of U.S.-
"The warmth projected by both President Obama and Prime Minster Netanyahu is a telling reminder of the uniquely close, indeed ironclad, relationship between the U.S. and
," said AJC Executive Director
. "That is why President Obama's visit is so critically important, as he engages the Israeli people and tells
's neighbors -- indeed the world -- that the U.S. stands firmly with
As President Obama declared today, "The
State of Israel
will have no greater friend than
the United States
Obama's first visit to
as U.S. president is, as both leaders pointed out, their tenth meeting since the beginning of Obama's first term. In fact, Obama noted that he has spent more time with Netanyahu than any other world leader. The two discussed today, among other issues, the Iranian nuclear threat, Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the Syrian conflict.
's security needs are truly unique," said Obama. "The U.S. commitment to
's security is a solemn obligation." The president reviewed the record of U.S. support for
's security and military needs, and declared that the "alliance between our nations has never been stronger."
's efforts to achieve nuclear weapons capability, "our policy is to prevent
from acquiring a nuclear weapon," Obama declared. "All options are on the table. We will do what is necessary to prevent
from getting the world's worst weapons."
Netanyahu, emphasizing that the U.S. and
are aligned regarding
, said, "I am absolutely convinced the president of
the United States
is committed to preventing
from getting nuclear weapons."
At the same time, Netanyahu also declared that
has "the right and the capability to defend ourselves." The U.S. president concurred. He said the U.S. will continue to assure that
maintains its qualitative military edge "so
can defend itself by itself." He spoke specifically of his Administration's efforts, working with the U.S. Congress, to extend the current program of American military assistance beyond 2017, and to also assure future funding for the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
While Obama deferred discussing any details of the peace process until after he meets with Palestinian Authority President
tomorrow, the U.S. president stressed that "a central element of a lasting peace must be a strong and secure Jewish state, where
's security concerns are met, alongside a sovereign and independent Palestinian state."
Netanyahu, emphasizing his own commitment to a negotiated, permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians, said: "
remains fully committed to peace and the solution of two states for two peoples. We extend our hands in peace and in friendship to the Palestinian people."
"Let us sit down at the negotiating table. Let us put aside all preconditions. Let us work together to achieve the historic compromise that will end our conflict once and for all," Netanyahu added.