Netanyahu at the White House

February 16, 2017 Agencies
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At a media conference at The White House,  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told President Donald Trump that “the United States has no better ally than Israel”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump at The White House Photo: Avi Ohayon (GPO)

“President Trump, thank you for the truly warm hospitality you and Melania have shown me, my wife Sara, our entire delegation. I deeply value your friendship to me, to the State of Israel. It was so clearly evident in the words you just spoke. Israel has no better ally than the United States, and I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.

Our alliance has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership, I’m confident it will get even stronger. I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field, in security, in technology, in cyber and trade and so many others. And I certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that Israel is treated fairly in international forums and that the slander and boycotts of Israel are resisted mightily by the power and moral position of the United States of America.

As you have said, our alliance is based on a deep bond of common values and common interest. And increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force: Radical Islamic terror.

Mr. President, you’ve shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head-on. You call for confronting Iran’s terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal, and you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. You call for the defeat of ISIS.

Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam. And in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you and I stand with you.

Mr. President, in rolling back militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity, because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly – as an ally.

I believe that under your leadership, this change in our region creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen security and advance peace. Let us seize this moment together; let us bolster security; let us seek new avenues of peace; and let us bring the remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States to even greater heights.”

The World Jewish Congress’s President Ronald S. Lauder welcomed the “extremely positive” meeting held earlier in the day between US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “an encouraging sign that the historic alliance between Israel and the United States is back on strong footing.”

Lauder said: “I have known both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu for decades, and can attest to their shared commitment to the Jewish people and to the security of the State of Israel, and to their keen desire to put an end to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump and Netanyahu have clear chemistry and a mutual vision for the future of Israel and the region. Through their cooperation and friendship, we may truly achieve peace.

“I am also heartened by President Trump’s expressed commitment that ‘the United States will encourage a peace, and really a great peace deal’ and to the principle that it is the ‘parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement.’

“I trust both Netanyahu and Trump will carefully evaluate the reality on the ground and determine the best possible course of action for both Israelis and Palestinians,” Lauder said.

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