Netanyahu welcomes Obama's statements on Israel's right to self-defense
PM Benjamin Netanyahu reacts postively to U.S. President Barack Obama's AIPAC speech; Peres meets with Obama for 35 minutes after speech.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's earlier speech at the AIPAC conference in Washington, saying that he appreciated more than anyone Obama's statement on Israel's right to defend itself by itself against any threat.
Speaking before a meeting with Jewish leaders in the Canadian capital Ottawa, Netanyahu noted positively Obama's statements that Iran should not be permitted to develop nuclear weapons and that all options remain on the table to prevent it from doing so.
"I appreciate all of these statements and expect to discuss them tomorrow with President Obama," Netanyahu said.
Immediately after his speech at the AIPAC conference, Obama met for 35 minutes in a side room with President Shimon Peres. The two discussed both Iran and the Palestinians. After the meeting, Peres spoke by phone with Netanyahu and updated him on the meeting with Obama.
"It was an excellent meeting with President Obama," Peres said. "He reinforced the things he said in his speech and went into more details. I left with the feeling that he is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and he is very serious. Obama told me that Israel's security is an American national security interest. I didn’t find him to even stutter. He is sharply clear and is not playing politics. I am sure that [Netanyahu] will be received very warmly in the White House tomorrow."
Netanyahu is to meet with Obama at the White House on Monday.