Israeli PM says ties with U.S. unbreakable
The close relations between Israel and the United States are unbreakable, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, despite the recent emergence of notable tensions between the two allies over Israel's settlement policy, Xinhua reported.
"We have a close relationship with the United States, which President Barack Obama defined in his speech in Cairo as unbreakable, and it is indeed unbreakable," local news service Ynet quoted him as saying at an event celebrating the United States' 233rd Independence Day.
For his part, U.S. ambassador James Cunningham reaffirmed the close ties between the United States and Israel, stressing that Washington is committed to Israel's security and that of its citizens.
The reiteration of the close ties between the two nations came at a time when notable tensions could be sensed between the pair of traditional allies over the Jewish state's policy regarding the settlements in the West Bank.
The Obama administration has repeatedly urged Israel to freeze settlement expansion. In his Cairo speech last month, which was intended to mend ties with the Muslim world, the president said that his government saw no legitimacy in the settlements built in Palestinian territories.
Yet the Israeli side has so far not backed down from its demand that "natural growth" be allowed in order for settlers to lead a normal life. The Jewish state wants to retain certain major settlement blocs in any final agreement with the Palestinians.