ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Netanyahu to Biden, full text: ‘Historic peace’ is ‘within our reach’

US President Joe Biden and his team meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his team on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 20, 2023. (Avi Ohayon, GPO)
US President Joe Biden and his team meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his team on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 20, 2023. (Avi Ohayon, GPO)

Here’s a transcript of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opening public remarks to US President Biden:

“Thank you, Mr. President, Joe,

“We’ve been friends for over 40 years… Our friendship goes a long way and can take us a long way. I’m delighted to see you.

“I think we live at a time of great promise but also great danger.

“You just spoke about that great promise in the G20 meeting that you participated [in] and led. You spoke about an economic corridor that would link Asia, the Middle East and Europe together, and such a corridor will make Israel a very important hub on a highway of unprecedented prosperity.

“But I think and you think that it can do something much bigger than this. I think that under your leadership, Mr. President, we can forge a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and I think such a peace would go a long way, first, to advance the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict, achieve reconciliation between the Islamic world and the Jewish state, and advance a genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is something within our reach.

“I believe that working together we can make history and create a better future for the region and beyond. And also, by working together, we can confront those forces that threaten that future — none more so than Iran.

“I appreciate, Mr. President, your continuous commitment to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. I think that’s critical. And that shared goal of ours can be best achieved by a credible military threat, crippling sanctions and supporting the brave men and women of Iran who despise that regime and who are our real partners for a better future.

“So I look forward to working with you and your team to realize the promise and confront the threat.

“As you said, we live in uncertain times, rapidly changing times, so I want to reassert here before you, Mr. President, that one thing is certain and one thing will never change and that is Israel’s commitment to democracy. We will continue to uphold the values that both our proud democracies cherish.

“And I think that working together we will realize the promise, roll back the dangers, and bring a better future for our region and the world.

“We can make history, Mr. President. With your leadership, we can make history.”

Biden: “Together.”

Netanyahu: “Together.”

They shake hands.

A reporter asks Biden if he is concerned for Israeli democracy.

As the pool is being herded from the room, several Israel-related questions are shouted. According to a US pool radio reporter, Biden is heard saying to Netanyahu: “Surprised they haven’t asked me about the auto strike. They usually ask about things that have nothing to do with what we’re talking about.”

US President Joe Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 (GPO screenshot)

As the Israeli Government Press Office camera feed ends, Biden and Netanyahu are seen seated alone together.

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