Cagey on Process, but Firm on Peace

Jerusalem did not make a specific reference to the two-state solution or the Annapolis agreements in its comments on Barack Obama's reaffirmed commitment to both.

"Israel values President Obama's commitment to its security and his desire to promote the peace process," the prime minister's office said in a statement. "The government is committed to those objectives, and plans to form a policy and work in cooperation with the United States to achieve them," the statement added, seemingly implying that such coordination was lacking for the time being.

A more detailed statement came from Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), who had been speaking at the special Knesset meeting on a statement by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who earlier this week said Israel was not committed to the understandings at Annapolis.

"Even Obama can be convinced otherwise," said Erdan. "He doesn't give us orders. He is a true friend of Israel and everything between us will be through dialogue, cooperation, agreement," Erdan stressed.

Lieberman on his part said that "The people in Israel elected not to become the 51st state."

MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) said at the debate that "Erdan, Lieberman and the government are leading a resistance trend in our relationship with the United States. I'm worried as an Israeli."

In the meantime, Syria has called upon the US to play a more active part in promoting Middle East peace.

A statement put forward by the government press agency Sana said that President Bashar Assad told a visiting delegation of American congressmen that "experience shows wars only cause more problems and human tragedies."