WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States and Israel will maintain “unprecedented co-ordination” as nuclear talks go forward with Iran, the White House said after a summit of the two nation’s security advisers.
“On Iran, the U.S. delegation reaffirmed our commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” said the statement describing the Thursday meeting of the U.S.-Israel Consultative Group, co-chaired at the White House by Susan Rice, the U.S. National Security Adviser, and Yossi Cohen, her Israel counterpart.
“The two sides discussed the ongoing diplomatic efforts of the P5+1 and EU to reach a comprehensive solution that peacefully and verifiably resolves the international community’s concerns with Iran’s program,” the statement said, using the acronym for the major powers now in nuclear talks with Iran. “The delegations pledged to continue the unprecedented coordination between the United States and Israel as negotiations continue.”
The statement comes after a week of tensions between Israel and the United States sparked by the publication in The Atlantic of an attack by an unnamed Obama administration official who described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as cowardly.
The official was describing White House anger with Netanyahu for continuing building in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank and for lobbying Congress and the U.S. media against any potential Iran deal.
Notably, the White House statement did not mention the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Instead, it described discussion of “pressing issues, including ongoing efforts by the United States and coalition partners to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL,” an acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. A photo distributed with the statement showed Rice and Cohen embracing. The U.S.-Israel Consultative Group meets twice a year.