© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Two Talks On The Docket For Netanyahu's White House Visit


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama met today in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the top of the president's agenda: Getting Israel to accept a framework for peace talks with the Palestinians.

NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: There's a deadline coming at the end of April. That's when the Obama administration has said it wants to have the Israelis and Palestinians sign on to a framework for negotiating a permanent peace deal. With today's meeting, President Obama made his case to Israel's Netanyahu personally.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: They are tough negotiations. The issues are profound. Obviously if they were easy, they would have been resolved many years ago. But I think that Prime Minister Netanyahu has approached these negotiations with a level of seriousness and commitment.

KEITH: The president and Netanyahu met in the Oval Office, holding this photo op before they'd had a chance to actually talk to each other. Picture two world leaders sitting in chairs looking at each other and speaking to a mob of reporters. The president said he would use this meeting to press Netanyahu to make the tough decisions needed to move the peace process forward.

OBAMA: It's my belief that ultimately it is still possible to create two states. A Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine in which people are living side-by-side in peace and security. But it's difficult.

KEITH: And, as if to underscore that point, Netanyahu outlined a series of steps Israel has taken to move the process forward, only, he said, to be rewarded with suicide bombers and rockets on Israeli cities.

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Israel has been doing its part. And I regret to say that the Palestinians haven't. Now, I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom but it's the truth. And the people of Israel know that it's the truth because they've been living it.

KEITH: Later this month, President Obama is scheduled welcome Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House where he is expected to press again for difficult choices in the name of peace. At today's meeting, Obama and Netanyahu also discussed Syria, counterterrorism, and what Netanyahu described as the greatest challenge: preventing Iran from making nuclear weapons.

Tamara Keith, NPR News, the White House. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.