JERUSALEM (CNN) - Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama pledged Wednesday to maintain a close relationship between the United States and Israel.
He also said he will work toward bringing peace in the region regardless of whether he is elected president.
Obama spoke during a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. It was one of many stops the senator from Illinois made during the day.
The senator is on an international tour aimed to boost his foreign policy credentials.
"I'm here on this trip to reaffirm the special relationship between Israel and the United States and my abiding commitment to Israel's security, and I hope I can serve as an effective partner, whether as a United States senator or as a president, in bringing about a more lasting peace in the region," he said.
Peres said he had "high regard" for Obama and described his belief that "the future belongs to the young."
Obama began his second day in the Middle East on Wednesday by meeting Israeli leaders and laying a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.