Obama: Peace requires 'secure Jewish state'
Published Wednesday 20/03/2013 (updated) 22/03/2013 11:14
US President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu shake hands while they hold a joint news conference
in Jerusalem on March 20. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A "strong and secure Jewish state" is central to a lasting peace, US President Barack Obama said in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
"A central element of a lasting peace must be a strong and secure Jewish state where Israel's security needs are met, alongside a strong Palestinian state," Obama said at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu told reporters that Israel "remains fully committed to peace and the possibility of two states for two people."
Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a three-day visit that will include brief trips to Ramallah and Bethlehem.
The US president said he would have more to say on the peace process on Thursday, when he is scheduled to meet his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, but said so far "we haven't seen the progress we'd like to see."
Earlier the left-leaning Israeli group Peace Now put up a huge sign saying in both Hebrew and English “We the people want peace” near Ben Gurion airport, the Israeli daily Maariv reported.
The sign was placed in a field in sight of Obama's helicopter as it passed from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.