Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said that direct negotiations was the only way to achieve a stable Middle East peace, maintaining that the Palestinian effort to secure UN recognition of statehood "will not succeed."
Moments before his joint meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York, Netanyahu lauded the American President, Barack Obama "for standing with Israel and supporting peace through direct negotiations. We both agree that this is the only way."
"Palestinians deserve a state, but it's a state that has to make peace with Israel, and therefore the attempt to shortcut this process will not succeed. I think the Palestinians want to achieve a state through the international community, but they are not prepared yet to give peace to Israel in return."
Netanyahu went on to praise the President for taking strong suppportive stance in support of Israel:
"I think, standing your ground, taking this position of principle, which is also the right position to achieve peace, this is a badge of Honor, and i want to thank you for wearing that Badge of Honor...and i hope others will follow your example..."
During their joint press conference, Obama reiterated his commitment to Israel, saying:
"I think it's fair to say that today our security cooperation is stronger than it has ever been.Peace cannot be imposed – it has to be negotiated. Israelis and Palestinians sitting down together and working through these very difficult issues that have kept the parties apart for decades now; that is what I know is the ultimate goal for all of us – two states, side by side, living in peace and security," he added.
"Recent events in the region remind us how fragile peace can be, and why the pursuit of Middle East peace is more urgent than ever."