Rice in Israel to Put Pressure on Jewish State Over Peace Talks, Iran Deal
Susan Rice was sent on her first trip to Israel as National Security Adviser to both pressure the Jewish state to embrace two-state solution plans and try to make Jerusalem amenable to a nuclear deal with Iran.
Rice met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in advance of Thursday's U.S.-Israel Consultative Group consultations.
"They discussed a wide range of regional and bilateral issues, including the United States and Israel’s close security cooperation, which has been unprecedented under President Obama’s leadership. On Iran, Ambassador Rice emphasized the critical importance of pursuing a comprehensive solution that assures the international community that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. She reiterated that the United States will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that diplomacy is the best way to resolve the international community’s concerns peacefully. Ambassador Rice told Prime Minister Netanyahu that the United States will continue intensive consultations with Israel as P5+1 and the EU negotiations continue," the White House said in a readout of the meeting.
"On Israeli-Palestinians negotiations, Ambassador Rice noted that, while we have come to a pause in the parties’ talks, the United States remains convinced that lasting peace can only be secured through direct negotiations that lead to two viable, independent states living side-by-side in peace and security."
Rice also met with President Shimon Peres, where they "discussed the unprecedented cooperation between the United States and Israel."
"On Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Ambassador Rice reaffirmed that the only path to a lasting peace is for a secure Jewish state to exist side-by-side with a viable, independent Palestinian state, and she thanked President Peres for his unwavering dedication to peace," the White House said.
Israel's cabinet unanimously agreed to cut off the Obama-pushed talks after Fatah brought Hamas into the fold.
The U.S. delegation to the meetings includes senior representatives from the departments of State, Defense, Treasury, and the intelligence community.
"What this meeting will not produce is any new development on the Iran front," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. "It would be an opportunity for representatives from the United States and Israel at high levels to discuss that issue, among many others. Obviously we are involved very deeply in a P5-plus-1 process in pursuit of a comprehensive agreement to deal with the challenge posed by Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, but that process is not complete, and this will be more of a discussion and update on that situation."