Obama's visit to Israel has no preconditions: Envoy

Indo Asian News Service

Jerusalem, Feb 6 (IANS) US President Barack Obama's visit to Israel next month will be made without any preconditions, the American ambassador to Israel said Wednesday.

White House officials said Tuesday that Obama will visit Israel in his first trip abroad during his second term.

Obama did not make an official visit to Israel during his first term as president, Xinhua reported.

In an interviews to local news outlets, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said Obama's visit will not necessitate any prior conditions.

"The president's visit will strengthen the ties between Israel and the US," Shapiro told Israel Radio.

"The US has a special bond with Israel," he added.

Shapiro said the purpose of the visit was to coordinate Israeli and US positions on several key issues, including the situation in Syria, the Iranian nuclear issue and the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Obama is coming so soon after the US and Israeli elections because it's best to start working on those topics as soon as possible," Shapiro said.

Obama's visit will also include stops in other countries of the region, including Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.