Obama welcomes 'step forward' in Netanyahu speech

Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:47pm EDT

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's administration on Sunday welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's endorsement of a separate Palestinian state, calling it an "important step forward."

"The president welcomes the important step forward in Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "The president is committed to two states, a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestine, in the historic homeland of both peoples."

"He believes this solution can and must ensure both Israel's security and the fulfillment of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for a viable state, and he welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu's endorsement of that goal." (Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh)




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