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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Obama Visits Israel, Pledges U.S. Support

Amanda Martinez |
March 20, 2013 | 10:39 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer


Obama kicked off his first official visit to Israel Wednesday. (acroll/Flickr)
Obama kicked off his first official visit to Israel Wednesday. (acroll/Flickr)
President Obama traveled to Israel Wednesday to pledge U.S. support for stopping a nuclear Iran and continue aiding in Palestinian peace talks.

"It's in our fundamental security interest to stand with Israel," said Obama, just after exiting Air Force One. "I am confident in declaring that our alliance is eternal, is forever."

Over the course of his three-day trip, Obama will travel to Israeli military defensive installations, speak to students and meet with leaders across the West Bank territory.

In Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's welcome remarks, he cited an Israeli right to self-defense and alluded to Obama's support on that front.

According to Reuters, the White House has downplayed hopes of any major breakthroughs for peace talks between Israel and Palestine. The last time the U.S. negotiated talks with both countries back in 2010, the conversation stalled over Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Obama's opening remarks specifically avoided mentioning Palestine by name, as well as commenting on Iran and Syria--both items he's expected to tackle on his first official visit.

The trip is instead expected to be symbolic more than anything else, reconfirming that the president cares about Israel and its people and "will do whatever is necessary to protect them from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and other enemies."

For more of Neon Tommy's coverage on Israel click here.

Reach Executive Producer Amanda Martinez here.




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