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PM: I will protect Israeli interests

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 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not letting diplomatic differences with the US affect his policy. "The true test of leadership," Netanyahu said Wednesday, "is protecting interests even when encountering disagreements with friends – even the best of friends. That is what I have done and what I will continue to do for the State of Israel and the security of its civilians."

Netanyahu\’s statements were given as he was about to meet with the Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer. "We are facing great challenges," Netanyahu said.

"As the prime minister of Israel, it is my duty to protect the interests of the State of Israel. At the moment, Israel\’s biggest interest is preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear power; nuclear power in the hands of a country that is calling for the destruction of Israel and which has every intention of achieving that goal," Netanyahu added.

"I insist we protect our interests, not only when it\’s easy," Netanyahu noted. "Because the true test of leadership is protecting interests even when encountering disagreements with friends – even the best of friends."

On Tuesday, the White House said that President Barack Obama would not be meeting Netanyahu, due to the two leaders\’ conflicting schedules.

Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu spoke against international attempts to control Israel\’s Iran strike. "The world tells Israel \’wait, there\’s still time\’. And I say, \’Wait for what? Wait until when?\’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don\’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu told reporters in a press conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

But not everyone in Netayahu\’s administration is supportive of the "no friends" policy. Also on Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "Israel and the United States should find a way to resolve their differences behind closed doors."

"The United States is Israel\’s principal ally and despite the differences on and the importance of keeping Israel\’s ability to operation independently, we must also keep in mind the strategic importance of the partnership with the United States, and refrain from hurting it," he said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Netanyahu expressed his condolences over the death of the American ambassador to Libya. "The people of Israel are standing beside the American people in mourning," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu added that "If there is a nation that can relate to what the Americans are going through, it is the people of Israel, who have long been fighting the war on terror."

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