U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Israel's new prime minister to
seize what he calls a "historic opportunity" to make "serious" progress
in peace with the Palestinians.
Mr. Obama was speaking Monday after his first White House meeting with
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The president said he is
confident of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in
the "days, weeks and months ahead."
Mr. Obama said all parties in the conflict must take seriously all
obligations they have previously agreed to. He said Israel must take
difficult steps such as "stopping" settlements in the occupied West
Bank and addressing the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Obama also said it is in the interests of the United States that Israel remain secure as an "independent Jewish state."