Obama To Bibi: It Isn't Personal, It's Business

Posted: Mar 24, 2015 4:05 PM

President Obama said at a White House press conferenceTuesday that his decision to reevaluate United States policy towards Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election is not personal, it's strictly business. 

"One last point about this because I've heard a lot of the commentary," Obama said in response to a question about whether there was anything Netanyahu could do to stop Obama from changing his administration's policy on Israel. "There is a tendency I think in the reporting here to frame this somehow as a personal issue between myself and Prime Minister Netanyahu."

"I have a very businesslike relationship with the prime minister," Obama continued. "The issue is not a matter of relations between leaders. The issue is a very clear substantive challenge. We believe that two-states is the best path forward for Israel's security for Palestinian aspirations and for regional stability. That's our view. And Prime Minister Netanyahu has a different approach."

Obama's remarks came at a press conference at the White House featuring both Obama and Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, who Obama referred to as "Karzai" at least once during the press conference.

Before the two leaders addressed reporters the White House released a joint statement from the two governments confirming that Obama will keep about 9,800 American troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015. Obama had planned to have just 5,500 troops in the country by the end of this year. During the press conference Obama again reiterated his promise to remove all U.S. troops from the country by the time he leaves office.

"We want to make sure we're doing everything we can to help Afghan security forces succeed, so we don't have to go back," Obama said.