Israel PM hails 'powerful' alliance with US

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hailed his country's longtime alliance with the United States as "powerful."

The Israeli-U.S. alliance is "based on common values, common interests," the Israeli premier said at a meeting with U.S. republican congressmen Robert Pittenger and Dennis A. Ross.

Netanyahu described the two countries' relations as "bipartisan."

"We appreciate the support of democrats and republicans alike. We have a great national interest in preventing Iran from acquiring the means to develop nuclear weapons," he said.

"We believe this isn't a partisan issue; it isn't a democratic issue; it's not a republican issue. It's an Israeli issue. It's an American issue," Netanyahu asserted.

"It's a global issue and we believe that the current proposal before Iran, handed over by the P5+1 is very dangerous to Israel and dangerous to the region and the peace of the world," he added.

The meeting comes two weeks before the Israeli premier is due to address the U.S. Congress, despite reservations from the White House.

Netanyahu's March 3 speech is expected to dwell on the dangers posed to U.S. security by Iran's nuclear ambitions and Islamic extremists.

The White House, however, has said the invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress was a "breach of protocol," asserting that U.S. President Barack Obama would not receive the Israeli PM during his visit.

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