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Obama to Netanyahu: 'Tough' decisions needed on peace
Published Monday 03/03/2014 (updated) 05/03/2014 10:24
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US President Barack Obama (R) listens to Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White
House in Washington, March 3, 2014 (AFP Saul Loeb)
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- Israel needs to make some tough decisions in order to find peace with the Palestinians, US President Barack Obama warned Benjamin Netanyahu in talks at the White House on Monday.

But the prime minister insisted that Israel had already done its part for peace, while the Palestinians had not.

Israel and the Palestinians have been engaged in seven months of direct peace talks which are due to expire at the end of April, and decision time is at hand, Obama said.

The deadline, he said "is coming near and some tough decisions are going to have to be made."

But Netanyahu, who has pledged to stand firm on Israel's vital interests and to withstand US pressure, told him it is the Palestinians who need to act.

"Israel has been doing its part, I regret to say the Palestinians haven't," he retorted, claiming Israel had "uprooted entire settlements" and released hundreds of Palestinian "terrorists."

Ignoring Obama's appeal, Netanyahu said the highest priority for Israel and the United States was not the peace process but preventing Iran from obtaining a military nuclear capacity.

The "greatest challenge, undoubtably, is preventing Iran from acquiring the capacity to make nuclear weapons," he said.

The way to do that was by preventing Iran from enriching uranium and for it to fully dismantle its military nuclear installations, he argued.

Netanyahu came to Washington keen to impress his concerns on Obama about the ongoing talks between world powers and Iran in a bid to roll back its contested nuclear program.
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1 ) Give / Take
04/03/2014 00:06
He is right - Israel did release hundreds of murderous palestinian terrorists. Abbas embraced them and hugged them as heroes. What did palestinians give to Israel? Complains?

2 ) j / usa
04/03/2014 00:26
Right now tough decisions are need to be made about russia ukraine thing. Palestinian issue shoud be in the bottom where it belongs.

3 ) Maureen / Australia
04/03/2014 00:59
Netanyahu's real "challenge," is an economic one! He is really concerned about Iran's capability of aquiring nuclear power to jump start Iran's economy! Israel/Netanyahu should clean up its own dirty nuclear back yard before pointing the finger at any other nation!

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
04/03/2014 03:39
'Binyamin Netanyahu struck a defiant tone on Monday over US calls for a Palestinian peace deal...' Good man. I'm behind you all the way. That light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. Trust me. Go into the light...

5 ) Julie / USA
04/03/2014 04:26
what a waste! satanyahoo said absolutely NOTHING towards peace, quite the obvious opposite, not surprisingly. oh, and "uprooted entire settlements"???? LOL!!! when, where, which ones??? this izraeli terrorist is totally clueless and we don't want him here. he's a complete failure on peace with Palestine and Iran...oh wait, i keep forgetting, he has never wanted peace with either!!!!

6 ) THERE WILL NOT BE PEACE / in the Middle East
04/03/2014 18:18
until ISLAM accept a JEWISH ENTITY in its midst that will take 200 years

7 ) @ Acceptance #6 / USA
04/03/2014 21:02
Your perspective is good, but perhaps too optimistic, where in the 1600s,
- the Europeans had their "30 Years War", and now
- the Middle East is in the early stages (65th year) of a "200 Years" War, and 2,000 years may still not be enough, for Accepting The Unacceptable !!


8 ) ian / australia
04/03/2014 22:14
According to details of Kerry's "framework" proposal leaked by Abbas in Al-Quds newspaper the only "tough" decision Bibi is being pressured to make is to relinquish Beit Hanina for the capital of the Palestinian state. Palestinians forfeit the rest of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, the Jordan Valley and presumably ALL major settlements. Beit Hanina is the sole concession and even that is apparently too much.

9 ) Outlier / USA
07/03/2014 21:13
Make no mistake, the toughest decisions needed for peace will be made - but more likely not made - by the Palestinians.
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