US Vice President Joe Biden tried to put the furor over announcement of plans to build 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo behind him, saying during a speech Thursday at Tel Aviv University that he condemned the move because as a friend he was compelled to "deliver the hardest truth," but adding that he appreciated the clarifications he received on the matter from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau.
He opened the speech by stressing the importance of US-Israel friendship and Washington's commitment to the security of the Jewish state, saying that "US President Barack Obama and myself know that the US has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel," Jerusalem Post informs.
"The most important thing is for these talks to go forward and go forward promptly and go forward in good faith," Biden said. "We can't delay because when progress is postponed, extremists exploit our differences."
Biden also repeatedly voiced Washington's commitment to Israel's security, trying to allay any concerns the Jewish state might have, but also said an end to the conflict would restore to the Palestinians "the fundamental dignity and self-respect that their current predicament denies them", Ynetnews reports.