Obama, Netanyahu discuss Iran, Palestinian request to join ICC

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed developments in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the Palestinian’s request to join the International Criminal Court.

Obama and Netanyahu spoke by phone Monday, according to a statement issued by the White House Press Secretary.

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In the discussion about recent developments in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, Obama “reaffirmed to the Prime Minister that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program,” according to the statement.

“The President underscored the United States’ enduring commitment to the security of Israel and the importance of continuing close cooperation with Israel on this issue,” the statement said.

Obama also addressed the Palestinian’s bid to join the International Criminal Court, telling Netanyahu that the United States’ position remains that  the Palestinian Authority “does not yet constitute a state and is therefore not eligible to accede to the Rome Statute,” the treaty that governs the ICC.

Obama “underscored that the United States does not believe Palestinian accession to the ICC is a constructive way forward. The United States continues to strongly oppose actions by both parties that undermine trust and encourages both sides to seek ways to deescalate tensions,” the statement said.