Full Transcript: Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Remarks Following Meeting With President Obama (VIDEO)
Below is the full transcript of remarks made by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu following Monday’s meeting with President Obama at the White House.
“Mr. President, thank you for welcoming me and my delegation on what I know is a very busy day for you. In Washington today, there are many things on your plate.
But I know that you know and the American people know that there is no better ally, more reliable, more stable, more democratic other than Israel in a very broad, dangerous place.
So I welcome the opportunity that we’re having to discuss how we work closely together to address the enormous challenges that face both of us. And I — I think of those, the most important challenge is preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
I appreciate deeply the fact that you have made clear that you remain committed to this goal. I also appreciate the statement you made that Iran’s conciliatory words have to be matched by real actions — transparent, verifiable, meaningful actions.
Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction, so for Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program. We have a saying in Hebrew. We call it — (in Hebrew). You would say it in English: What’s the bottom line? And the bottom line, again, is that Iran fully dismantles its military nuclear program.
In this regard, I want to express my appreciation to you for the enormous work that’s been done to have a sanctions regime in place to thwart Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. I believe that it’s the combination of a credible military threat and the pressure of those sanctions that have brought Iran to the negotiating table.
I also believe that if diplomacy is to work, those pressures must be kept in place. And I think they should not be lessened until there is verifiable success. And in fact, it is Israel’s firm belief that if Iran continues to advance its nuclear program during negotiations, the sanctions should be strengthened. It’s the combination, I believe, that has guided your policy and our policy so far, that has (put) — a credible military threat and strong sanctions, I think, is still the only formula that can get a peaceful resolution of this problem.
Mr. President, we discussed many issues, but I want to use this opportunity to thank you, Secretary of State Kerry and others in your administration for helping to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians. I remain committed to that peace. And I hope that our efforts, our common efforts, would lead to a secure and lasting peace. We know that for peace to endure, it must be based on Israel’s capacity to defend itself by itself. And I hope that we can achieve a historic transformation that will give a better future for us and our Palestinian neighbors, and who knows, one day with our other neighbors as well.
So I want to thank you again for your hospitality, for your efforts. And it’s very, very good to see you again.”
A video of President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu can be viewed below: