Obama invites Israeli PM to White House: Report

Jerusalem, June 16 (IANS/EFE) US President Barack Obama has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the White House in July, the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported.

The meeting will take place on July 15 or 16 after the nuclear deal deadline between Iran and the P5+ group of world powers passes but before Obama is to put the agreement to a vote in Congress, the Israeli newspaper clarified.

The deal has been hovering over deteriorating relations between the two allies, such as Netanyahu’s trip to Washington last March amidst his election campaign when he argued his sharp opposition to the agreement before the Congress.

In an almost unprecedented incident, Obama refused to meet the Israeli leader claiming that this would interfere in Israeli elections, but promised they would meet if and when Netanyahu won the election.

Moreover, Netanyahu’s prior trip was sponsored by Republican leaders of Congress, who invited the Israeli prime minister to discuss the White House agreement with Tehran; the affair was interpreted by the US president as an Israeli attempt to interfere in Washington’s foreign policy.

The upcoming trip will serve to heal relations between Obama and Netanyahu, to rehabilitate bilateral cooperation and to ensure Washington’s support for Israel in international forums, according to the newspaper.

The publication also predicted that Netanyahu would ask Obama to increase military assistance to his country, as Israel saw a nuclear deal with Tehran as an ever-growing threat.

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