March 20th, 2013
02:40 PM ET

Obama, Netanyahu exchange assurances on Iran, Syria, Palestinians

President Barack Obama is visiting Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank for the first time since he became president. He and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint news conference Wednesday evening in Jerusalem.

[Update 3:16 p.m.] The news conference has concluded.

[Update 3:15 p.m.] Netanyahu said the United States and Israel have a "common assessment" on Iran's progress in developing a nuclear weapon.

[Update 3:09 p.m.] Obama said that he "purposely did not want to come here and make some big announcement that might not match up to the reality" on the ground regarding the Middle East peace process.

[Update 3:04 p.m.] "I think there is time to resolve this issue diplomatically," Obama said about tension over Iran's nuclear program.

[Update 2:56 p.m.] Obama said that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions, adding that "we will do what is necessary in preventing Iran from getting the world's worst weapons."

Netanyahu said he was "absolutely convinced" that Obama is "determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."

[Update 2:52 p.m.] Obama said he has ordered an investigation of whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, adding he was "deeply skeptical" of any claim the opposition had used them.

"Once we have established the facts, I have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game-changer," Obama said, stopping short of saying what he would do if Syria had crossed his "red line" for stronger action.

[Update 2:49 p.m.] Obama said the Syrian government's "use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake," adding that Damascus "will be held for accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists." 

[Update 2:45 p.m.] Obama said he and Netanyahu discussed extending U.S. assistance for Israel beyond the 2017 deadline of the current agreement between their countries.

 [Update 2:42 p.m.] Netanyahu said Wednesday that he hoped the visit by Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry can "help us turn a page in relations" with Palestinians seeking their own state.

[First post 2:38 p.m.] Netanyahu said Wednesday that diplomacy and sanctions have not stopped Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon so far, adding that a peaceful solution also requires a clear and credible threat of military action.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Iran • Israel • Military • Palestinians • Politics • Syria • World
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. sammy

    obama would be blind and ignorant puppet to fall Netanyahu mind games

    March 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sammy

    you can see obamas on the Zionist pay roll

    March 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. little mister©

    Help me. Im in a sink hole near rawlings wyhoming.
    Very weak.very tired
    Help me

    March 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sammy

    Somebody please help little mister.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AM

    Yes. Help little mister.
    I agree with u on this one sammy boy

    March 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. billcat (in a cap)©

    What came first.the chicken or the egg,???
    The egg. And thats no yolk

    March 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Not even close troll.

      March 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt

    You have to hand it to Netanyahu in this time of change a chance to build new long term relationships with people in the Middle East he has made the US more unpopular among the Muslim world than during Iraq. That is unbelievable, almost impossible, at the time in a Muslim land, handing a country to Shiites, fighting Muslims. He interlocked the US level of popularity with that of Israel. That is his intention to show the Muslims he can act with impunity, that was why the trip to WH and then Congress. He does not want friends and in many things are done out friendship by people in the US.

    That is why you have the MB in Egypt, you have threats about the peace treaties, Dempsey on Iran saying you are on your own. Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary. When some people in the US can do things that he or Congress can't control they do. That harms Israel, things are done out of friendship, that harms Israel too. Meir Dagan said Israel has become a burden for the US, where did he hear that from the US. Privately some people in the US in relation to security concerns say who cares, if Netanyahu can force them to comply that act out of obligation, but not friendship. He knows going to the oval office and doing that upset some people in the US, you can do a lot of things, make people one term presidents, keep build for 20 years, etc. But that crossed a line when some people actually seek to do Israel harm. If anyone else did that they would do you harm. You can get congress to force the US into Syria, but you can't force the Pentagon to make it a success, that is the option people are left with. You have nice people threaten you like Panetta, Gates ungrateful ally. What does he mean in relation to the UN and international Israel is the US DPRK, the issues are different, but without the US shield Israel at the UN. And that is what some people say about Israel in the US. And that is fine but if is not done out of friendship, that is a problem. General Israeli's are nice people and they don't deserve to face retribution, but then they also empower the provocateur, as their elected representative. Do they deserve to have MB governments, peace treaties ripped up, to be left alone as Dempsey said, Chuck Hagel unchained. It would matter who is sitting in that office, it is the seal of the presidency that was insulted, all 44 and the next 44 to come. Anyway.

    March 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    @Matt, Not one Government on this earth represents its people in a true light. The Government of Israel doesn't necessarily reflect its peoples views, just as any Government in any nation.

    March 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    @ @@, I'd rather be helping little mister any day than Israel :(

    March 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sammy

    any one country can be helped matt i like your view butt we live for tomorrow i'm sorry to say our leaders today don't like to share power for that reason this world will never have peace

    March 20, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    @ @@, Why has Israel consistently denied Jesus as the messiah ?

    March 21, 2013 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |