Photo: AFP
No meeting in cards - PM Netanyahu
Photo: AFP

PM's Office: Netanyahu won't meet Obama during upcoming US visit

Netanyahu will not be meeting US president during March visit to Washington as Obama will be away, PM's Office says; sources close to prime minister laud recent poll showing growing support for Israel among American public

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be meeting United States President Barack Obama during his expected visit to the AIPAC Conference in the US in a few weeks, sources in the PM's Office confirmed Saturday.


The sources said a meeting will not be held because President Obama will not be in Washington at the time of Netanyahu's visit.


Officials at the PM's Office looked into the possibility of arranging a meeting between the leaders, whose relationships had not been exemplary thus far. However, Obama is scheduled to be in Indonesia when Netanyahu arrives in the US.


However, the two leaders are expected to meet in an international conference on nuclear terrorism to be held on April 12 of this year in Washington.



Meanwhile, officials at Netanyahu's office expressed satisfaction over the findings of an annual Gallup poll published this week. For the first time since 1991, more than six out of every 10 Americans (63%) endorse Israel's position rather than the Palestinian stance in respect to the Mideastern conflict.


'Leap in support not coincidental'  

According to the poll, held at the beginning of the month, 15% of Americans endorse the Palestinian side, while 23% support both sides, neither side, or hold no opinion.


"The American public's high-level support for Israel stems from a deep sense of the way and values shared by both nations," a source at the PM's Office said. "The leap in the support for Israel in the past year, to the highest rate in 20 years, is also not coincidental."


A senior political source said he hopes that the American public's "unequivocal support for Israel will make it clear to the Palestinians that they would do well to enter peace talks, and that it would be a shame for them to waste time in a futile wait for Israel's diplomatic isolation in the US."


An official in the PM's Office added: "Netanyahu, who is known by the American public for 30 years now, invested great efforts in explaining Israel's policy in the US in recent months. He had done so in his last three visits to Washington and New York, and he does it every week in meetings in Israel with Congress members and American public opinion leaders. He also intends to do it in his upcoming trips to Washington in March and April."


פרסום ראשון: 02.27.10, 23:30
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