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The White House

Readout On the President’s Calls to Foreign Leaders


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                   February 11, 2009

This afternoon, President Obama spoke to President Peres of Israel to extend his congratulations to the Israeli people on their general elections yesterday. The President remarked that the Israeli people should be very happy about the democratic example they have set for the world. They had a good discussion, and the President complimented President Peres on his recent op-ed in which he reaffirmed his strong commitment to achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This morning, President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi had a friendly and productive call. The President stressed his commitment to a strong U.S.-Italian relationship. They discussed cooperation on a range of issues, including the global financial crisis, upcoming G-20 summit in London and NATO summit in Strasbourg-Kehl, G-8 summit in July, Iran, Middle East peace efforts, and energy security. President Obama also thanked Prime Minister Berlusconi for Italy’s strong support in Afghanistan.

President Obama also had a productive conversation with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari this morning. President Obama expressed his support for Pakistan’s democracy and his commitment to a strong partnership with Pakistan. The two leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining a strong bilateral relationship to address issues of common interest, such as counter-terrorism and economic development. And in line with Ambassador Holbrooke’s mission, both leaders agreed to work together to advance peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region.