[Video below.] President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel hold a press conference in Yerushalayim.
At the joint press conference, President Obama said:
- Israel’s security needs are truly unique, as I’ve seen myself….I’ve walked through Israeli homes devastated by Hizbullah rockets. I’ve stood in Sderot, and met with children who simply want to grow up free from fear. And flying in today, I saw again how Israel’s security can be measured in mere miles and minutes. As President, I’ve, therefore, made it clear America’s commitment to the security of the State of Israel is a solemn obligation, and the security of Israel is non-negotiable.
- Today, our military and intelligence personnel cooperate more closely than ever before. We conduct more joint exercises and training than ever before. We’re providing more security assistance and advanced technology to Israel than ever before. And that includes more support for the missile defenses like Iron Dome, which I saw today and which has saved so many Israeli lives.
- We will take steps to ensure that there’s no interruption of funding for Iron Dome….We will help to preserve Israel’s qualitative military edge so that Israel can defend itself, by itself, against any threat.
- We agree that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to the region, a threat to the world, and potentially an existential threat to Israel. And we agree on our goal. We do not have a policy of containment when it comes to a nuclear Iran. Our policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
- My main goal on this trip has been to have an opportunity to speak directly to the Israeli people at a time when obviously what was already a pretty tough neighborhood has gotten tougher, and let them know that they’ve got a friend in the United States, that we have your back; that we consider Israel’s security of extraordinary importance to us, not just because of the bonds between our peoples but also because of our own national security interest.
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