- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

President Obama in Israel is touting America’s shared alliances, telling that nation’s key political leaders he is visiting to show his friendship and doubled-down commitment to security.

The United States is Israel’s “strongest ally and your greatest friend,” Mr. Obama said to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of his Wednesday visit, The Associated Press reports.

And in what AP describes as a subtle reference to the region’s tensions and regime changes, he said, “The winds of change bring both promise and peril.” Mr. Obama also referenced America’s absolute commitment to helping Israel maintain secure borders, AP said.

SEE ALSO: ‘Shadow war’ between Israel, Iran rages on as Obama visits

Mr. Peres greeted Mr. Obama with a brief and friendly nod to the U.S.

“A world without America’s leadership, without her moral voice, would be a darker world. A world without your friendship would invite aggression against Israel,” he said, as AP reported.

This is Mr. Obama’s first trip to Israel as president.

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