The Obama administration will invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House after he forms a new government, a US official reiterated to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, amid reports suggesting the visit may be timed around the completion of nuclear talks with Iran.
The pledge to invite Netanyahu was first made on April 6 by Ben Rhodes, the president’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, in an interview with Israeli television. “Absolutely,” Rhodes said. “We’d expect that once there’s an Israeli government formed, that there will certainly be occasion for the two of them to meet in Washington going forward.”
But on Thursday morning, the New York Times reported that President Barack Obama, in one of two meetings with Jewish community leaders on April 13, said he would prefer waiting to host Netanyahu until after the deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement passes on June 30.
Netanyahu would simply take the opportunity in front of the press, inside the Oval Office, to skewer the nuclear deal as he has in the past, the president contended, according to the report.
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