Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Loews Regency Hotel
New York City
September 21, 2011

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, are you able to give the press a readout of your meeting just now with President Obama (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that’s being done through the White House, so I’ll let them give the readout.

QUESTION: Was any progress made on suspending this bid for statehood on Friday?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think I’ll let the White House give the readout.

QUESTION: Would you like to give the press any reaction to the hikers being released?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would like to say how pleased, relieved, and grateful I am that these two young men are finally out of an Iranian prison, where they never should have been in the first place. And I am not going to say any more because they have a chance now to reuinte with their families and to decompress from what has been a terrible experience for them. And I’m looking forward to seeing them when they return home.

QUESTION: Mr. Prime Minister, why won’t you freeze the settlements if that’s one way to get back to talks?

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Well, I did, as you know, and did something that no previous Israeli government did. I actually froze any construction for ten months, waited nine months and one week; the Palestinians finally came and said, well, keep on freezing. So I think wisely – and we concluded with the United States – that what we really have to do is get on with the real issues and get down and negotiate all these issues in order to get peace. We have to negotiate the issues to resolve them. We can’t just negotiate about the negotiations.

PRN: 2011/1561