Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Israel's Netanyahu cancels US visit, catching White House off guard

The Obama administration said Monday that it was "surprised" to learn that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had canceled a planned visit to Washington later this month, and denied an Israeli media report that claimed the White House was unable to arrange a meeting between President Obama and Netanyahu. 

Netanyahu's visit had been planned to coincide with the American-Israel Political Affairs Committee's annual conference. The White House said Israel had proposed for the two leaders to meet on either March 17 or 18 and the U.S. had offered to meet on March 18. 

"We were surprised to first learn via media reports that the Prime Minister, rather than accept our invitation, opted to cancel his visit," National Security Council spokesman Ned Price told reporters Monday. "Reports that we were not able to accommodate the Prime Minister's schedule are false." READ MORE