Seven years and 16 meetings after their first encounter in the Oval Office, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama met for likely the last time in their current roles in New York on Wednesday, with Obama – as at that first meeting – expressing concern about the settlements, and Netanyahu professing a desire for peace.
At a brief photo opportunity at Obama’s hotel before the meeting, the US president said he wanted to hear from Netanyahu about the situation inside Israel and the West Bank.
“We do have concerns around settlement activity as well, and our hope is that we can continue to be an effective partner with Israel,” he said.
Noting that he will only be in office for another three months, Obama said, “Our hope will be that in these conversations we get a sense of how Israel sees the next few years, what the opportunities are and what the challenges are, in order to assure that we keep alive the possibility of a stable, secure Israel at peace with its neighbors and a Palestinian homeland that meets the aspirations of their people.”
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