BENJAMIN NETANYAHU TURNS DOWN MEETING WITH BARACK OBAMA
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined an offer from the United States government to meet President Barack Obama later this month, the White House said on Monday, in the latest signal of their fractured relationship.
The Israeli leader decided to cancel his visit to Washington, despite being expected to make the trip to the U.S. in March for the annual summit of a prominent pro-Israeli advocacy group. He will now deliver his remarks by video conference.
However, the U.S. government said that it only learnt of Netanyahu’s decisionthrough media reports, while it denied “false” reports in the Israeli media that the White House was unable to find a date to meet with the Israeli leader.
“We were looking forward to hosting the bilateral meeting,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said in a statement.
“We were surprised to first learn via media reports that the prime minister, rather than accept our invitation, opted to cancel his visit.”
An aide to Obama told CNN that Netanyahu’s office proposed March 17 or 18 as dates that would work for a meeting and the
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