Obama: Abbas should condemn the violence in the region

PNN/Bethlehem

At a joint press conference this Wednesday, before a bilateral meeting at the White House, Barack Obama and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin discussed ongoing bilateral talks regarding a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding on U.S. security assistance to Israel that resumed last week.

The U.S. considers Israel’s security to be one of the most important principles of American foreign policy, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.

“I’m very proud of the unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation that we have, and the consistent support that we’ve provided to Israel’s defenses”, Obama said.

The pair also discussed regional challenges and instability in the Middle East, including Syria, ISIL and concerns about the ongoing violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“I’ve been clear in condemning the violence that is recurring inside of Israel. The need for leaders like President Mahmoud Abbas to unequivocally condemn the violence that’s been taking place, the need to end incitement, but also the need for Israelis and Palestinians to find mechanisms in which to dialogue and arrive at peace,” Obama said.

Rivlin said Israel “has no greater friend than the U.S.,” and thanked Obama for America’s financial, diplomatic and military support to Israel.

“You are making us able to stand against threats of today and of tomorrow,” he said.

Finally Rivlin stated: “I would like also to say that we are very grateful to you about your declaration about the need to fight extremism, whatever and wherever it is.”