Obama phones Livni, says he stands behind Israel

Wednesday, March 12, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

In a move to garner additional Jewish votes, US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Tuesday put in a surprise telephone call to Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who is currently in Washington.

Obama reportedly offered his condolences in the wake of last week's terrorist massacre at a Jerusalem yeshiva, and stressed his support for Israel's right to defend itself against Arab aggression.

The Illinois senator also said he appreciates what Livni termed Israel's "dual strategy" of continuing to pursue peace talks with so-called "moderate" Palestinian leaders while engaging in defensive military action against Hamas and other groups that would like to scuttle the peace process.

The two also discussed the Iranian threat, and Obama expressed his belief that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

During her visit, Livni is expected to meet with Obama's Democratic Party rival, Hillary Clinton, as well as Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

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