Obama pledges US loyalty to Israel
Monday 05 March 2012
President Barack Obama has assured Israel that the United States will
always stand by it in a display of unity between allies who often
He told visiting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu they agreed that diplomacy is the best way to resolve the crisis over potential Iranian nuclear weapons.
"Both the prime minister and I prefer to solve this diplomatically," Mr Obama said as he Mr Netanyahu began several hours of White House consultations. The US will consider all options in confronting what it sees as the unacceptable outcome of an Iranian bomb, Mr Obama said.
"Israel and America stand together," Mr Netanyahu said. He added that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to defend itself, a pointed reference to the main question hanging over the high-stakes meeting: Whether to try to stop an Iranian bomb by with a military attack in the next several months.
Israel must remain "the master of its fate," he said.
Mr Obama will try to persuade him to slow pressure among many in his hawkish government to attack Iran's disputed nuclear development sites. Mr Obama is trying to avert an Israeli strike that could come this spring, and which the United States sees as dangerously premature.
The president is expected to tell Mr Netanyahu in private that although the US is committed to Israel's security it does not want to be dragged into another war. He is unlikely to spell out US "red lines" that would trigger a military response, despite Israeli pressure to do so.
Mr Obama previewed the White House meeting with a speech on Sunday to American supporters of Israel, a key constituency in this election year.
He said he does not want war but insists he would attack Iran if that was the only option left to stop that nation from getting a nuclear weapon.
"Loose talk of war" only plays into Iran's hands, Obama said.
US officials believe that while Tehran has the capability to build a nuclear weapon, it has not yet decided to do so. They want to give sanctions time to pressure Iran to give up any military nuclear ambitions. Israel says the threat is too great to wait and many officials there are advocating a pre-emptive strike.
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...