WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama and Israel’s prime minister met behind closed doors, discussing U.S.-Israel ties, Iran and Mideast peace talks, according to a White House statement.
Obama’s meeting Monday evening at the White House with Benjamin Netanyahu was closed to reporters, even omitting the standard photo opportunity and hand shake.
The White House statement following the meeting was unusually terse: "The President and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship. The President reaffirmed our strong commitment to Israel’s security, and discussed security cooperation on a range of issues. The President and Prime Minister also discussed Iran and how to move forward on Middle East peace."
White House officials have expressed frustration with the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Earlier Monday, Netanyahu had called for an immediate resumption of talks, in a speech to the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly.
Obama met with some of the Jewish leaders at a White House reception. He praised the federations umbrella for its charitable work and called for support for massive health care reform currently under consideration in Congress.