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Obama shows support

Last updated: 2008-03-12

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama called Israel's foreign minister to express support for Israel in the wake of the recent increase in violence.

The Democratic presidential front-runner initiated the call on Tuesday to Tzipi Livni during her visit to Washington.

Obama, a US senator from Illinois, addressed last week's terrorist attack on a Jerusalem yeshiva, the intensification of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the threat of a nuclear Iran.

A statement from his campaign said Obama "expressed condolences to the entire State of Israel for the attacks at Mercaz Harav yeshiva last week; underscored Israel’s right to defend itself, particularly against rocket attacks; outlined shared interest in ensuring Iran does not develop nuclear weapons and ended its support for terrorism; and expressed admiration and support for the ongoing commitment to negotiations with President Abbas."

The Israeli Embassy in a statement confirmed the call and added that Livni linked Iran to the intensification of violence.

"In her comments, the foreign minister said that there is a direct connection between Middle Eastern terrorism and Iran," the statement said. "Israel is pursuing a dual strategy: an effort to arrive at understandings in negotiations with moderates and, at the same time, acting against Hamas," the terrorist group that controls Gaza.

(c) JTA