Fwd: White House Travel Pool Report #4. Bilat with Israeli PM

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From: "Jaffe, Greg" >
Date: September 21, 2016 at 1:28:28 PM EDT
To: "Gabriel, Brian" >
Subject: White House Travel Pool Report #4. Bilat with Israeli PM

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with their staffs at the Palace Hotel around 1 p.m. At the opening they both made brief remarks. Each spoke for about four minutes. He's a rough transcript of the highlights with help from Time Magazine's Charlotte Alter...

"I want to thank you for the extensive security and intelligence cooperation between our two countries. I don't think people at large understand the breadth and depth of the cooperation, but I know and I want to thank you on behalf of all of the people of Israel," Netanyahu said.

He thanked the president for the "many meetings they've had....The greatest opportunity is to advance the goal of peace. That's a goal that I and the people of Israel will never give up on."

"Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America and America has no greater friend than Israel.," Netanyahu said. "Our alliance has grown decade after decade, through successive presidents, bipartisan Congress and with the overwhelming support of the American people. It is an unbreakable bond."

He complimented Obama on "what I hear is a terrific golf game."

"I want you to know Barack that you will always be a welcome guest in Israel." He then invited Obama to play at a golf course near his home in Israel," the Israeli PM said.

"We'll set up a tee time," Obama quipped.

Obama began by saying that he was personally thinking about Shimon Peres, who he described a "great friend, a hero and a giant in the history of Israel."

"As PM Netanyahu mentioned, the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable. It is based on common values, family ties, a recognition that the Jewish state of Israel is one of our most important allies," Obama said. "It is important for America's national security to ensure we have a safe and secure Israel, one that can defend itself."

On new package:
"it allows the Israelis can have some kind of certainty in a moment when there's enormous uncertainty in the region. It's a very difficult and dangerous time in the middle east.

This will give us an opportunity to talk about the challenges that arise around situations like Syria, I'll also be interested in hearing from the Prime Minister his assessment of conditions within Israel, and in the West Bank, and obviously our hearts go out to those who have been injured, both Israel and Palestinian.

We do have concerns around settlement activity as well, and our hope is that we can continue to be an effective partner with Israel.

Obviously I'm only going to be president for another 3 months.

Our hope will be that in these conversations we get a sense of how Israel sees the next few years, what the opportunities are and what the challenges are, in order to assure that we keep alive the possibility of of a stable, secure israel at peace with its neighbors and a Palestinian [nation] that meets the aspirations of their people.

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