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."