News / Middle East

White House, Israeli Officials: No Obama-Netanyahu Meeting

President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 5, 2012.President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 5, 2012.
President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 5, 2012.
President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 5, 2012.
The White House says President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone Tuesday night after both sides said the two will not meet later this month in New York City, where they will attend the United Nations General Assembly session.  A White House statement said the two reaffirmed their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But there will be no face-to-face meeting in New York.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said President Obama's schedule in New York will not permit a meeting with the Israeli leader.
This followed a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that quoted an unidentified Israeli official about an exchange between Netanyahu and the White House. According to the report, Netanyahu said that while he would be in the United States for a little more than two days, he was interested in a meeting, and was willing to come to Washington.
The White House, according to the official, responded that Mr. Obama's schedule will not allow for a meeting.
Vietor said the two leaders are "simply not in the city at the same time."  But he added that Netanyahu will meet with other senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to address the United Nations on September 28, and is expected to focus on what he sees as Iran's steady movement toward building a nuclear weapon.
President Obama addresses the General Assembly September 25. 
Netanyahu has urged President Obama to go further in specifying so-called "red lines" for Iran's nuclear program that, if crossed, would trigger a U.S. military response. On Tuesday, the Israeli leader said "those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
At the Brookings Institution in Washington, former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief Lieutenant General Dan Haloutz said diplomatic pressure and sanctions are the right course to take at present. "The Iranian case is not an Israeli case, it's not an American case, it's not a Saudi Arabian case, it's the Middle East, it's Europe and it is the entire Western community.  Free societies should be interested in preventing the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon," he said. 
President Obama and officials have stressed repeatedly that they believe "time and space" remains to pursue a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.  U.S. and Israeli officials have frequently pointed to what they call unprecedented levels of military and intelligence cooperation.
A recent International Atomic Energy Agency report intensified concerns that Israel, the U.S. and key partners have that Iran's uranium enrichment and other efforts aim to move toward building a bomb.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 12, 2012 11:04 AM
What is the spelling of ANTISEMITISM? Is that a way to be antisemitic? Now we know who our friends are. USA was a friend of the Israelis, but you cannot say the same of all peoples in the country even if all of them claim to be citizens. Now we know why America is fast deteriorating to a den of robbers instead of God's own country. Yeah, sometimes you do have them - those who will even hate their own parents - how much worse to have those who will hate God's own people because they were born of the son of sedition. Welcome Obama, the busiest president in the world! Surely he'll prefer those who will kill his ambassador and diplomats for no justifiable reason.

by: Haron from: Afghanistan
September 12, 2012 5:32 AM
I think Obama is heartsick by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now. he pressure Mr, Obama to fight and lose the prestige of USA in Iran-US war. now a days if we see European allies are distancing from US policies against to Iran specially Germany. France, Sweden & Britain are pessimists to US. it is all about Israel. I think Israel has cancer. it must be under treatment

by: JohnWV from: USA
September 12, 2012 5:01 AM
Dating back to Imperial Rome, it has happened again and again. Jews enraged their neighbors and repeatedly suffered disastrous pogroms. Excesses of Weimar Germany's monied Jewish minority led to the most recent which Israel promotes, actually advertises, as justification for its apartheid malevolence. Netanyahu's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and supremacist empire is blind to history and guarantees repetition on a far grander scale.

by: JohnWV from: USA
September 12, 2012 5:00 AM
NO MORE WARS! Israel has ICBM nukes and openly threatens Iran; actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, is the warmonger. Resolution lies with lifting all sanctions and compensating Iran for damages from the $$$ billions we will no longer be giving the Jewish state. American foreign policy must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid supremacist empire. NO MORE WARS!

by: Suhaili from: usa
September 11, 2012 10:03 PM
Allies are mutual supports--if an ally knows only two words, give me, we can do without such "ally".

by: Aarky from: Ft Smith, AR, USA
September 11, 2012 9:55 PM
Netanyahu should have taken the hint when General Dempsy said, "We do not want to be complicit in an attack against Iran". He should have taken the hint when a number of high level Israelis also spoke out against an attack. Hopefully he will take this hint that the US is not interested in backing Israel in an attack against Iran.

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