Barkat gets cold shoulder
Photo: AP

Jerusalem mayor shunned by top US officials

Following harsh statements against Obama Administration, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's request to meet with Clinton, Mitchell denied; Israeli official slams mayor's remarks, says his actions undermine renewal of negotiations

WASHINGTON – Mayor gets cold shoulder: The US Administration rejected Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's request to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell, Ynet has learned.


Barkat, who is visiting Washington, continued his attacks on the US government Wednesday, further embarrassing the Netanyahu government.


In an interview with MSNBC, the mayor said Israeli officials are uncertain about what the US attempts to signal. He added that what he termed bad American proposals will be futile in resolving the Mideastern conflict.


In the interview, Barkat said his positions on the Jerusalem issue are identical to PM Netanyahu's views; however, an Israeli official expressed anger at the mayor's conduct "at such sensitive period in US-Israel ties, when every housing unit in Jerusalem gains prominence."


Uncoordinated meetings 

A senior Israeli official said "Jerusalem is a sensitive issue when we're on the verge of entering talks." Addressing Barkat's visit and remarks, the official said: "He arrived here without any authority to engage in diplomatic issues and without any responsibility – he arrived and is causing damage."


On Tuesday, Barkat met American reporters and was quoted as saying that President Obama's move constituted a slap in Israel's face.


While the Jerusalem mayor informed the Israeli embassy in Washington of his arrival, he independently coordinated meetings in Congress and with the US media, without coordinating his moves with Israeli diplomats in charge of these issues.


פרסום ראשון: 04.28.10, 17:52
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