Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's call at the U.N. for Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks without preconditions.
In his U.N. speech Wednesday, Obama said, "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."
Netanyahu told Israel Radio in a telephone interview from New York Thursday that even though he and Obama do not see eye-to-eye on settlements, "the president of the United States said unequivocally that is not an issue that should prevent the start of negotiations."
Netanyahu added that Obama's speech was "positive" because "he also said something we had been seeking for six months, that we have to meet and begin the diplomatic process without preconditions." Obama had spoken "clearly about Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people," said Netanyahu. "I believe that disagreement about this is the root of the conflict."
According to the AP, Netanyahu also pointed out that Obama had made reference to Israeli efforts to improve the Palestinian economy by lifting roadblocks.