The US and Israel are denying a media report that claims Obama invited Netanyahu to the White House for a meeting in July.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
The White House and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Jerusalem deny a report that President Barack Obama had invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Washington in July after the final signing of an accord with Iran regarding its nuclear program.
Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth quoted unnamed sources at the State Department who confirmed Obama’s alleged invitation.
Sources close to the Prime Minister are quoted as saying that if Netanyahu does receive such an invitation, he will certainly respond positively and head for the US.
Obama and Netanyahu have had strained relations in recent months, and Obama refused to meet with Netanyahu during the latter’s visit to the US in March to address Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat, claiming it would be “inappropriate” to meet Netanyahu, who was running again for prime minister two weeks before the elections in Israel.
Members of Knesset (Israeli parliament) in the Opposition criticized Netanyahu upon release of the report.
MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said that the fact that Netanyahu was invited only after the finalizing of the deal with Iran proves that Israel “has lost the White House’s ear at this critical moment. This is worrying and we must work to change this.”
MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp), the Opposition leader, said it is clear that there is “a deep crisis in the relations between the administration in the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office. That directly negatively influences Israel’s security and our national interests.”