Netanyahu to Meet With Obama to Discuss ‘Additional Steps’ on Gaza

June 21, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Will BiBi be treated better than the President of Equatorial Guinea this time? And will there be an official White House photo opportunity, instead of stolen shots as Netanyahu and his entourage slip out the White House’s back entrance in the dead of night? All signs point to a warmer reception for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during his next visit to the White House on July 6. With Israel’s announcement of the purported easing of the land blockade of the Gaza Strip, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, acknowledged in a statement that President Obama was pleased with the new policy.

“We believe that the implementation of the policy announced by the government of Israel today should improve life for the people of Gaza,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Last week, Israel announced a relaxation of the three-year long land blockade of the Gaza Strip, while still keeping the sea blockade in place. The new policy allows construction materials to enter Gaza for the rebuilding of the shattered infrastructure of the coastal region. But the Palestinians are not satisfied and are demanding a complete end to the choking blockade, which has caused a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Still, the White House hailed Israel’s new policy as a step in the right direction. The talks between Obama and Netanyahu next month will center on “additional steps” needed to move relations forward with the Palestinians. The question is: How much further will Netanyahu be willing to go?

Gibbs said the United States would work with all parties to “explore additional ways to improve the situation in Gaza, including greater freedom of movement and commerce between Gaza and the West Bank.”

“There is more to be done, and the president looks forward to discussing this new policy, and additional steps, with Prime Minister Netanyahu during his visit to Washington,” he said.

See Reuters for more.

Photo Source: White House Flickr Photostream


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