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.]Â 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.]Â 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.]Â 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.]Â 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."Â
[Update 2:45 p.m.]Â Obama said he and Netanyahu discussed extending U.S. assistance for Israel beyond the 2017 deadline of the current agreement between their countries.
Â [Update 2:42 p.m.]Â 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.]Â 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.