Published On: Thu, Sep 1st, 2016

Netanyahu asks to meet with Obama this month

Israeli embassy in Washington looking into possibility of Prime Minister Netanyahu flying to Washington from New York following his UN General Assembly address in September; PM potentially looking to sign military aid package deal before Obama’s term expires.

Netanyahu- OBAMA-MIDEAST-ISRAEL----- Reuters -

Efforts are being made to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in September after the Israeli leader addresses the UN General Assembly.

Netanyahu is scheduled to land in New York on September 21 and, in addition to his speech at the General Assembly, is expected to meet with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and participate in a meeting between European heads of state.

The Israeli embassy in Washington is currently discussing with the White House whether it would be possible for Netanyahu to fly from New York to Washington and meet with President Obama.

The idea was also raised that if such a meeting were to take place, Netanyahu could sign a military aid package deal for the next decade. Indeed, the Israeli prime minister has already declared his inetrest in signing the agreement prior to the conclusion of Obama’s presidency.

The US and Israeli discussions on the deal have already been underway for a number of months. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in Washington in June and despite acknowledging disagreements, he has estimated that the deal could be signed before The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) on October 2.

Whether the outcome of the deal could be adversely affected by Israel’s Wednesday announcement to retroactively approve hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank, is yet to be seen.

The Obama administration did, however, makes its opinion known when a White House spokesperson, Josh Earnest, heaped criticism on Israel’s decision.

“This significant expansion of the settlement activity poses a serious and growing threat to the viability of a two state solution, ” said Earnest on Wednesday

“We are particularly troubled by the policy of retroactively approving illegal outposts and unauthorized settlements, ” he continued.

Ynet News

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