Obama and Netanyahu To Meet as White House Mulls New Peace Moves

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet in New York during the United Nations General Assembly.

The meeting will take place Wednesday on the sidelines of the international forum and comes as Obama considers making a push to jumpstart stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in his final months in office.

“The meeting between the President and Prime Minister will afford them an opportunity to discuss the strong ties between the United States and Israel, as recently underscored by the finalization of a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding with Israel, the single largest pledge of military assistance in U.S. history,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement released Sunday. “The meeting also will be an opportunity to discuss the need for genuine advancement of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the face of deeply troubling trends on the ground. Additionally, the leaders are likely to discuss continued implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and other regional security issues.”

The meeting comes a week after Israel and the United States signed a 10-year, $38 billion defense assistance pact. The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement Sunday saying Netanyahu would use the meeting to thank Obama “personally for the security assistance agreement that was signed last week.”

Netanyahu also “intends to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the Middle East as well as the way to advance peace and security,” according to the statement.

It likely will be the last meeting between the two leaders before Obama leaves office in January.

On Sunday, Netanyahu thanked Obama, Congress and the American people for their support and accused those who criticized the Memorandum of Understanding of “ingratitude.”


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