Peres and Obama Meet in the White House Discuss Iran, Peace Process

Peres opens meeting asking that Obama release convicted spy Pollard in clemency not as a pardon.

President Shimon Peres met with President Barack Obama on Wednesday, prior to the official dinner and reception at the White House, during which Peres will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civic award in the U.S..

The fate of the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was the first issue Peres raised in the meeting with Obama, saying this issue is very important to many people in Israel. In their talks Peres stressed that freeing Pollard would be clemency not a pardon.

Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and White House chief of staff Jack Lew also attended the meeting.

Obama opened the meeting saying that he was waiting for the meeting and was very glad to have the opportunity to celebrate Peres' accomplishments with his friends and family and to express the thanks of the American people for the role Peres played in world politics.

Peres thanked Obama for all he had done for Israel, adding that he was very impressed by his unique talent and his support for Israel from when they first met when Obama was still a senator.

During the meeting the two discussed the strengthening of the strategic alliance between the two nations. They also discussed Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the changes the Middle East is going through.