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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Biden: No space between U.S., Israel

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made statements to the media Monday after their two-hour meeting in Jerusalem.

"There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security, and for that reason and many others addressing Iran’s nuclear program has been one of our administration’s priorities," Biden said.

Biden and Netanyahu's talks reportedly focused on the Iran nuclear issue. The U.S. leader reportedly warned Netanyahu not to order a unilateral strike on Iran, and worked to get him on board with allowing U.S.-backed increased sanctions to have time to work.

Biden praised Israel for agreeing to enter into indirect peace talks with the Palestinians.

"We hope that these talks will lead, and they must lead eventually, to negotiations and direct discussions between the parties," he said. "The goal is obviously to resolve the final-status issues to achieve a two-state solution with Israel and a Palestine living side by side in peace and security.

"An historic peace is going to require both parties to make some historically bold commitments. You have done it before and I’m confident for real peace you would do it again."

Biden called on Israel to work for a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon, as well as normalizing relationships with the entire Arab world. 

Netanyahu called Biden "a real friend to me, and a real friend to Israel and to the Jewish people."

Jewish Telegrahic Agency report