Axelrod: Bibi-Barack meeting ‘will happen in the very near future’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top adviser to President Obama said a meeting between the president and Israel’s prime minister “will happen in the very near future.”

“Of course he wants to meet with him,” David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, said of a potential Obama-Benjamin Netanyahu meeting. Axelrod, who spoke to JTA on Monday after delivering a speech at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s biannual Consultation on Consicence, said such a meeting “is in the works.”

He added that Obama and Netanyahu “had a good conversation” when they spoke on the phone after Netanyahu became Israel’s prime minister earlier this month.

In his remarks to the RAC, Axelrod detailed the administration’s accomplishments in its first 100 days and talked about its future agenda. He stressed, “We believe strongly in the two-state solution,” because “we believe that’s in our interest and Israel’s interest.”

“We want to see momentum moving forward, not backward,” he told the crowd.

Asked afterward whether he was optimistic about reaching that goal, Axlerod said, “We’re always optimists. That’s what we’re going to work for. I’m sure that when he and the prime minister meet they’ll have a full discussion about that.”

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