Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama met in the White House for 90 minutes Tuesday, against the backdrop of an ongoing diplomatic crisis in the wake of an announcement of Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.
Just before the meeting, reports surfaced of yet another controversial construction project approved
in the eastern part of the capital, this time in Sheikh Jarah. PM Netanyahu entered his meeting with Obama without being aware of the new building permit. Officials at the PM's Office declined to comment about the issue for the time being.
Summit meeting at White House (Photo: Reuters)
Just like his last visit to Washington, the meeting at the White House did not include photo opportunities or a press briefing following the session. The White House had no immediate comment on what was discussed by the two leaders in the Oval Office.
At this time, top Administration officials in Washington aspire to work out an agreement about bringing the core issues up for discussion in the framework of upcoming proximity talk between Israel and the Palestinians. The two leaders were expected to discuss the issue in their meeting.
However, the Palestinians voiced harsh accusations against both the US and Israel in wake of the latest east Jerusalem construction reports, charging that the two sides were in cahoots in respect to construction in Israel's capital.
Earlier, P.J. Crowley, the State Department spokesman, told The Associated Press that the US and Israel were currently engaged in "give and take."
"We are not going to talk about the precise steps both sides have to take. We will continue to discuss those steps privately," Crowley said.
Roni Sofer and AP contributed to the story