US National Security Advisor Rice met both Israeli P.M. & the President in separate meetings in Jerusalem today.
United States National Security Advisor Susan Rice met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem today, reporting on the progress made in the negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli media reported Wednesday.
Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post cited Rice as stressing to Netanyahu the “critical importance of pursuing a comprehensive solution that assures… that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful”.
Rice also reiterated that the US continues to believe in the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, echoing the words of US President Barack Obama in a statement congratulating Israel on its Independence Day, released earlier this week.
The Prime Minister’s Office had not released a statement on the meeting.
However, according to Israeli daily Haaretz, a statement published by Netanyahu’s office right after the meeting with Rice – citing his speech before an American “Friends of IDF” organization made allusions to the content of their meeting.
“We think Iran must not have the capacity to produce a nuclear bomb,” Netanyahu was cited saying, “Iran today has thousands of kilograms of enriched uranium… a bad agreement would allow them to maintain the (capacity to build a nuclear bomb)… it’s better to have no agreement than a bad agreement,” the Prime Minister said, echoing a speech he gave before the UN assembly last year.
Netanyahu and Rice conversed for two hours, with Rice proceeding to an hour-long meeting with President Shimon Peres immediately afterwards. According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Peres told Rice that Iran’s positions in regards to the negotiations must be judged upon action alone, not promises.
Rice had also invited Peres to meet Obama in the White House on June 25th, a few weeks before Peres is expected to conclude his seven-year presidential term.
Peres told Rice that “strategic security relations between the US and Israel have reached new heights under Obama’s leadership.”
That statement comes at a sensitive timing, as Newsweek reported Tuesday that senior US intelligence officials, speaking in confidential briefings before Congress, accused Israel of “crossing red lines” by spying within the US – an accusation vehemently denied by Israel.
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