Prophecy in today's headlines

Peres: Israel Supports Two-State Solution, Iran Engagement

Israel is on board with key elements of President Obama’s agenda in the Middle East, Israeli President Shimon Peres told reporters Tuesday after meeting with Obama at the White House.

He said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would support a two-state solution to achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians and that if Obama wants to engage Iran, the Israelis are willing to back him.

“Mr. Netanyahu said he will cooperate (with) the commitments of the previous (Israeli) government. The previous government accepted the roadmap (to Middle East peace). In the roadmap, you’ll find the attitude to the two-state solution,” Peres said.

He said Netanyahu is ready to “start to negotiate right away” and does not want to “govern the Palestinian people.”

The Tuesday sit-down was meant to lay the groundwork for a meeting later this month with Netanyahu which the U.S. president hopes will lead to a resumption of the Middle East peace process.

The White House released a statement Tuesday noting that Peres and Obama discussed issues “including the pursuit of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East and Iran’s nuclear program” and saying Obama looks forward to the meeting with Netanyahu.

Peres, more moderate than Netanyahu, had been downplaying the new Israeli leader’s previous refusal to endorse the “two-state solution” that has been the foundation of U.S. policy since early in the Bush administration.

The push for a two-state solution was also at the heart of a political flap Tuesday over the tone the administration was taking with its top ally in the Middle East.

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