Washington, 26 Rabiul Awwal 1434 / 6 February 2013 (MINA) – US President Barack Obama plans to visit Israel for the first time since he first took office as part of his first overseas trip in his second term, a visit geared towards deepening ties with the regime rather than reigniting any talks with Palestinians, according to Press TV report monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Wednesday.
“The start of the president’s second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including, of course, Iran and Syria,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney in a Tuesday press briefing.
Obama is also due to visit the Jordanian kingdom and the West bank. Although the White House would not elaborate on the date of the visit, Israeli media have reported that the American president would arrive in Tel Aviv on March 20.
The announcement of the visit comes despite many reports regarding major conflicts between Obama and the Israeli regime’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made no secret of his efforts against Obama’s presidential bid for his second term, openly backing the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Although Obama last visited Israel as a candidate during his first presidential campaign in 2008, he refused to pay a visit there during his first term in office.
Moreover, during a June 2009 visit to the Middle East, not including the Israeli regime, he asked for a “new beginning” with the Islamic world in a Cairo speech, also declaring, “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”
However, Obama failed to back his words with deeds, as he is well-known for doing on a wide-range of issues, such as delivering “change” in US foreign and domestic policies following the George W. Bush era and the pledge to shut down the notorious US military prison and torture facility in Guantanamo, Cuba.
Furthermore, despite his differences with Netanyahu, Obama has further expanded US-Israeli military cooperation with numerous aid packages delivered to the Tel Aviv regime amid its persisting hostilities and violent military attacks against the impoverished Palestinians territories in Gaza and the West Bank. (T.P06/E1)
Mi’raj News Agecny (MINA)