Netanyahu Denies Snubbing Obama, Blames Primary Season for No-Show

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Amos Ben Gershom/Getty

NBC News reports: Israel on Tuesday refuted a White House claim that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “surprised” the Obama administration by cancelling a planned visit to Washington, saying that the White House knew Netanyahu was considering not coming.

Netanyahu had been expected to visit later in March on a trip coinciding with a major pro-Israel group’s annual summit, but his office said he would not travel because he did not wish to come at the height of U.S. presidential primaries.

The spat comes amid tense relations with President Barack Obama in the last year of his presidency, and shortly before Vice President Joe Biden was set to touch down in Israel.

It was the latest episode in a fraught relationship between Netanyahu and Obama that has yet to recover from deep differences over last year’s U.S.-led international nuclear deal with Israel’s foe Iran.

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