US-Israel take tough stance on Iran during Obama visit
London: President Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu have stressed on tough stance towards Iran, as the US leader made his first visit to Israel as president.
Speaking in Jerusalem, the two leaders said they agreed that Israel had the right to ‘defend itself by itself’.
The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
According to the BBC, on Thursday, Obama will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
Obama arrived in Tel Aviv on Wednesday afternoon, and was greeted at Ben Gurion airport by Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Following talks in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the fact Obama had made Israel the first foreign visit of his second term was ‘deeply, deeply appreciated’.
He thanked Obama for ‘the investment he has made in the relationship between the two countries and in strengthening the alliance between the two.’
According to the report, Netanyahu praised him for his stance on Iran, saying he was ‘absolutely convinced’ that Obama was determined to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear armed state.
He said they agreed it would take Iran about a year to produce such a weapon, and Obama said there was ‘not a lot of daylight’ between their assessments of Tehran''s nuclear programme, the report said.
On Syria, Netanyahu said he and Obama shared the same goal of seeing a stable and peaceful country emerge, and that they were determined to prevent Syria''s chemical weapons from falling into ‘terrorist hands,’ the report added.
Obama, meanwhile, said America''s commitment to the security of Israel was ‘a solemn obligation’.
He said discussions would begin on extending US military assistance to Israel, and that Washington would give a further 200 million dollars to fund Iron Dome, the report added.