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Israel must make tough choices, Obama warns PM

Published on Mar 4, 2014 6:51 AM
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on March 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Israel needs to take tough decisions if peace talks with the Palestinians are to have a future, US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

In a joint address at the White House as a major snowstorm blanketed the city, the two leaders, who have struggled to overcome mutual antipathy, once again found themselves very publicly at odds.

Mr Obama pushed for a decision on the peace process, while Mr Netanyahu insisted Israel had done its part and said Iran is now the most urgent threat. Israel and the Palestinians have been engaged in seven months of direct peace talks which are due to expire at the end of April.

“The timeframe that we have set up for completing these negotiations is coming near and some tough decisions are going to have to be made,” Mr Obama said.

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