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Netanyahu and Obama not in agreement

world Updated: May 21, 2011 23:39 IST
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Barack Obama failed to resolve the rift with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the West Asia peace process after lengthy talks at the White House, with both leaders publicly acknowledging differences over the 1967 border and other outstanding issues.

Netanyahu rejected outright Obama's public backing in a speech on Thursday for an Israeli-Palestinian deal based on the border that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The Israeli leader told Obama he was prepared to make concessions but not over the 1967 border. Israel's security needs required a border that stretched beyond the 1967 one across the length of the West Bank to Jordan, he said.

The pair tend to be polite and diplomatic in public while keeping their disagreements private but, on this occasion, they acknowledged the divisions. Their body language, with Netanyahu unsmiling and appearing tense, did not suggest the meeting had been cordial.