WASHINGTON - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited to meet with US President Barack Obama at the White House next week, after the American Memorial Day, which will be marked on Tuesday. The White House may confirm the meeting officially on Wednesday.
Netanyahu is expected to arrive in Washington after an official visit in Canada. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due in Washington during the second week of June, but his visit has not been confirmed either.
Netanyahu and Obama during May 2009 meeting (Archive photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
Following two rounds of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the White House has an interest in showing involvement in the peace process, and it appears that during next week's meeting Obama will agree to a photo-op with Netanyahu as a sign that relations are improving. The two previous meetings between the two were low-profile.
Next week's meeting will be the fifth between Obama and Netanyahu since they entered office.
The past few weeks have seen senior American officials appear before Jewish audiences as part of the administration's effort to stress the special bond between Jerusalem and Washington.
Obama himself met with Jewish leaders last week and admitted that he had made some mistakes in his dealings with Israel.