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Netanyahu discusses peace talks with Obama

Updated: 2013-03-21 08:13
( Xinhua)

Netanyahu discusses peace talks with Obama

US President Barack Obama listens to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak at a news conference at the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, March 20, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a closed-door meeting with visiting US President Barack Obama on Wednesday evening, during which they discussed Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian crisis and Mideast peace talks.

At a joint press conference with Obama after the meeting, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel has the right to defend itself, calling for tougher sanctions against Iran.

As for the stalled peace talks with Palestinians, Netanyahu said Israel remains committed to the two-state solution, adding that Obama's visit is an opportunity to move the peace process forward.

"Your visit has given us a way to try to advance peace between ourselves and the Palestinians... let us put aside all preconditions and work together to end the conflict," Netanyahu said.

The Israel-Palestinian peace talks have stalled since 2010 after the Israeli government refused to freeze the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.