Netanyahu: I look forward to working with the Obama administration to move peace forward.

 Statements by PM Netanyahu and Senator George Mitchell at the start of their meeting


PM Netanyahu and Senator George Mitchell meet in Jerusalem (Photo: GPO)

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
PM Netanyahu: I am always pleased to see you in Jerusalem, George. Senator Mitchell is a valued visitor and a valued champion of peace, and I look forward to working with you and with President Obama to advance peace. We’re serious about it. We know you’re serious about it. We hope the Palestinians respond – we have to move this process forward. I look forward to working with the Obama administration to move peace forward. Welcome to Jerusalem.

Senator Mitchell: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much. I just want to say a few words to the prime minister, to the government of Israel and to the people of Israel. And I want to begin by quoting the words of President Obama in his statement made publicly on Israel’s Independence Day just a few days ago.

President Obama said: "We continue to share a strong unbreakable bond of friendship between our two nations. Anchored by the United States’ enduring commitment to Israel’s security, Israel remains our important partner and key strategic ally in the Middle East. And I’m confident that our special relationship will only be strengthened in the months and years to come. I look forward to continuing our efforts with Israel to achieve comprehensive peace and security in the region, including a two-state solution, and to working together to counter the forces that threaten Israel, the United States and the world. We honor the extraordinary achievement of the people of Israel, and their deep and abiding friendship with the American people. I offer my best wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the people of Israel."

That has been American policy. That is American policy. That will be American policy. The president has stated it clearly and convincingly, and I am here today as a tangible demonstration of the workings of that policy on a day to day basis on issues of critical interest to both our governments and our people. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu to achieve our common objective of a comprehensive peace in the region.

Thank you all very much.

PM Netanyahu: Thank you, George.