Obama Meets with Netanyahu

US President Barack Obama met Tuesday in New York first with PM Binyamin Netanyahu, then with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Later all three will meet.

Hana Levi Julian,

PM Netanyahu and President Obama
PM Netanyahu and President Obama
Israel news photo: (archive)

U.S. President Barack Obama met Tuesday in New York with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, but no new plans were formalized.

Several meetings took place, in fact. The prime minister first met with the American president for about 40 minutes, prior to the scheduled trilateral meeting with Abbas. Obama then met with the PA chairman.

The three-way meeting between Obama, Netanyahu and Abbas, set to be held Tuesday night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, will also be attended by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

National security advisor Uzi Arad, Lieberman and Barak also attended the prime minister's meeting with President Obama, who was accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Following the meeting, the prime minister will meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Peres: Hopes for Continued Talks
President Shimon Peres expressed the hope that Tuesday's meetings in New York would lead to further talks.

The president, who was visiting the Kaduri Agricultural School in the north of Israel, told journalists "All sides have tried to lower expectations from the meeting, but the expectations for peace are always high. I hope the meeting will lead to continued negotiations."

Peres also noted that Netanyahu would boycott the address to the United Nations General Assembly by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom he referred to as "one of the most terrible men of our time."

Ahmadinejad was quoted by the Iranian state news agency on Monday as saying that he was proud that international leaders of Western nations had been outraged by his denial of the Holocaust, which he referred to on Friday as "a false pretext to create Israel."