(JERUSALEM) — In his first public statement since it was announced last week that President Obama will visit Israel in the spring, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the trip will reaffirm strong ties between the two governments.
Obama and Netanyahu have not always been on the same page when it comes to big issues such as Palestinian statehood and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
However, this visit to Israel, the first by Obama since he was first elected president, is expected to put the leaders on a new path to friendship or, at the very least, cool down past hostilities.
It does appear though that Netanyahu’s most immediate concern is the continued threat to Israel’s security by Iran and its rogue nuclear program. He said that would top his list of items to talk about with the president.
Iran is a topic that has turned volatile between Washington and Israel. Netanyahu has insisted on “red lines” in dealing with Iran, meaning if Tehran appears to be an imminent threat, Israel would act unilaterally to stop the danger.
Obama has been less inclined to establish “red lines” but has not ruled out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
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Barbie Latza Nadeau, Margot Haddad, Livia Borghese and Angela Dewan, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN