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Israel will work with Trump on peace efforts: Netanyahu

Washington: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he is committed to working with US President Donald Trump to achieve peace with the Palestinians and all of the Jewish state’s neighbours.

“Israel’s hand and my hand is extended to all of our neighbours in peace,” EFE news quoted Netanyahu as saying in a videoconference address to the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the main pro-Israeli pressure group in the US, in Washington.

“I believe that the common dangers faced by Israel and many of our Arab neighbours now offer a rare opportunity to build bridges towards a better future — a future more prosperous, more secure, more peaceful,” he said.

Netanyahu urged the Palestinian National Authority to “stop teaching hatred to its children. It must stop paying terrorists. It must stop denying our legitimacy and our history. It must above all, once and for all, recognise the Jewish state.”

The Israeli leader said that “Israel has no greater friend than America and America has no greater friend than Israel”, and he added that he was certain that the alliance between the two nations will grow even closer in the coming years.

He also referred to Iran as the greatest threat to Israel and appealed to the Trump administration to prevent “Iran from ever … developing nuclear weapons. That … will always be our policy.”

The premier said that “our partnership (with the US) means also confronting Iran’s aggression in the region and its terrorism around the world” and he added that “it means utterly vanquishing ISIS” and “building alliances with … those moderates who seek to build a better future and embrace modernity and peace.”

“In this battle between modernity and medievalism, more and more countries in the region and outside the region, around the world, realise that Israel is on their side,” the premier said.

Netanyahu delivered his speech after US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday spoke on the first day of the conference, reaffirming Trump’s commitment to achieving “lasting” peace in the Middle East.

Trump welcomed the Israeli premier to the White House in February.

–IANS