President Barack Obama has declined a request to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later this month.
Although the PM will only be in the US for two and half days, his office contacted the White House to express Netanyahu’s hope that he and Obama might sit down together during that time. The White House “rejected the request and said that at this time Obama’s schedule does not allow for a meeting.”
This comes even though Netanyahu said he would change his own schedule and would “travel to the US capital” just so the two leaders could meet.
This marks the first time during Obama’s presidency that Netanyahu will travel to the US “as Prime Minister without meeting Obama.” Ironically, it also comes at a time when the two need to meet perhaps more than ever, as tensions between Israel and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program reach critical mass.