Obama Congratulates Israeli Leader Netanyahu

(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
President Obama today placed a call to congratulate Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, who was sworn in yesterday.

According to the White House, the president "reaffirmed the United States' steadfast commitment to Israel and its security" during the call. He also said he was looking forward to working closely with Netanyahu on dealing with Iran and working toward Arab-Israeli peace.

The president fit the call in during his busy day in London, where he is meeting with world leaders in advance of the G20 summit.

Netanyahu, who is more conservative than predecessor Ehud Olmert, has pledged to work towards peace with the Palestinians, though he has not unequivocally backed the notion of a Palestinian state.

His hard-line foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, today said concessions to Palestinians "only bring pressure and more wars."