Updated to clarify comment from Netanyahu attributed to the Wall Street Journal.
NEW YORK (
) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday the country was unwilling to go back to pre-1967 borders in its dispute with the Palestinians as proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Wall Street Journal
: "While Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines. These lines are indefensible."
The comments came after Obama made a
on Thursday outlining the White House's view of the situation and advocating that: "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. "
Obama issued a
following Friday's meeting with Netanyahu, calling the meeting an "extremely constructive discussion" and acknowledging there was still work to be done.
"Obviously there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language, and that's going to happen between friends," Obama said. "But what we are in complete accord about is that a true peace can only occur if the ultimate resolution allows Israel to defend itself against threats, and that Israel's security will remain paramount in U.S. evaluations of any prospective peace deal."
Netanyahu's stance was clear in
attributed to him on the White House's Web site, as he explained Israel's staunchness against the 1967 borders, which he said "don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years."
He continued: "Remember that, before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide. It was half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive."
Netanyahu also stated Israel expects to have a "long term military presence along the Jordan" and he believes President Obama understands "Israel has certain security requirements that will have to come into place in any deal that we make."
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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