FW: in-town pool report #1: POTUS and Netanyahu

From: Evan McMorris-Santoro [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, November 9, 2015 11:28 AM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: in-town pool report #1: POTUS and Netanyahu

Press filed into the Oval Office where POTUS and Israeli PM Netanyahu were seated. Around the outside of the press scrum, pool spotted VP, SecState Kerry and NSA Susan Rice.

The two leaders spoke to reporters for about nine minutes.

Full transcript of remarks will be coming from WH. Check quotes against it. Here's a rundown with highlights.

POTUS kicked off the spray by offering his condolences to the families of Americans killed at a Jordan police training center.

"We take this very seriously, and will be working closely with the Jordanians to determine exactly what happened. But at this stage I just want to let everyone know that this is something I am paying close attention to," he said.

POTUS then offered condolences to the family for former Israeli President Yitzhak Navon, who died late Friday.

"Obviously he was an important figure in Israeli politics and we extend our heart-felt condolences to his family," he said.

On to the meeting with Netanyahu. POTUS said the meeting was "an opportunity for the prime minister and myself to engage in a wide-ranging discussion on some of the security problems we face."

Highlights from POTUS remarks.

Syria: "In light of what continues to be a chaotic situation in Syria, this will give us an opportunity to discuss what’s happening there, we’ll have an opportunity to discuss how we can blunt the activities of ISIL, Hezbollah and other organizations in the region that carry out terrorist attacks."

Iran deal: "We’ll also have a chance to talk about how implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement is going. It’s no secret that the prime minister and I have had a strong disagreement on this narrow issue. But we don’t have a disagreement on the need to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and we don’t have a disagreement about the importance of us blunting the destabilizing activities in Iran that may be taking place."

Palestinian territories/two-state solution: “I want to be very clear that we condemn in the strongest terms Palestinian violences against innocent Israeli citizens and I want to express once again my strong belief that Israel has not just the right but he obligation to defend itself.

I also want to talk to the prime minister about his thoughts about how we can lower the temperature between Israelis and Palestinians and how we can get back on track towards peace and how we can make sure that legitimate Palestinian aspirations are met through a political process, even as we make sure that Israel is able to secure itself."

Netanyahu spoke next. He offered his condolences over the deaths in Jordan.

"Thank you for this opportunity to strengthen our friendship which is strong, strengthen our alliance which is strong," he said.


Iran: "We are obviously tested today by the instability and insecurity of the middle east as you described it. I think everybody can see it, with the savagery of ISIS, with the aggression of terror of Iran’s taking and by Iran itself.

The combination of turbulence now has displaced millions of people, has butchered hundreds of thousands and we don’t know what will transpire.”

"Rolling it back," Netanyahu said, will be a "daunting task."

Palestinian territories/two-state: "we have not given up our hope for peace. I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state."

"I don’t think that anyone should doubt Israel’s determination to protect itself and defend itself against terror and destruction. But neither should anyone doubt Israel’s willingness to make peace with any of its neighbors who want to make peace with it."

Netanyahu wrapped up by addressing POTUS and offering "the appreciation of the people of Israel to you for your efforts" in bolstering Israeli defenses "during our years of common services and what you are engaging in right now" in helping to "maintain Israel's qualitative military edge."

"I want to thank you for sustaining and strengthening the tremendous friendship and alliance between Israel and the United States of America."


Evan McMorris-Santoro

BuzzFeed News White House Reporter



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