Obama calls Livni


Barack Obama called Israel’s foreign minister to express support for Israel in the wake of the recent increase in violence.

The Democratic presidential front-runner initiated the call Tuesday to Tzipi Livni during her visit to Washington.

Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, addressed last week’s terrorist attack on a Jerusalem yeshiva, the intensification of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the threat of a nuclear Iran.

A statement from his campaign said Obama “expressed condolences to the entire State of Israel for the attacks at Mercaz Harav yeshiva last week; underscored Israel’s right to defend itself, particularly against rocket attacks; outlined shared interest in ensuring Iran does not develop nuclear weapons and ended its support for terrorism; and expressed admiration and support for the ongoing commitment to negotiations with President Abbas.”

The Israeli Embassy in a statement confirmed the call and added that Livni linked Iran to the intensification of violence.

“In her comments, the foreign minister said that there is a direct connection between Middle Eastern terrorism and Iran,” the statement said. “Israel is pursuing a dual strategy: an effort to arrive at understandings in negotiations with moderates and, at the same time, acting against Hamas,” the terrorist group that controls Gaza.

Embassy officials said they were trying to reach the presidential campaigns of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for similar conversations.

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