Obama, Netanyahu to meet next week for first time in 7 months


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold talks with President Barack Obama next week at the White House, for first meeting between the two in seven months and on the heels of U.S.-Israeli tension during the summer operation in the Gaza Strip.

The announcement about the October 1 meeting was made late Monday by the spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, Caitlin Hayden, and confirmed by senior Israeli officials.

Because of Rosh Hashanah, Netanyahu will not be attending the leadership gatherings taking place later this week alongside the UN General Assembly in New York. Netanyahu, who is flying to New York on Sunday to address the gathering, will be arriving after most world leaders, including Obama, will have left the city. As a result he will make a special trip to Washington for a few hours next Wednesday to meet the U.S. president.

Their meeting is expected to deal with U.S. action against the Islamic State organization in Iraq and Syria, as well as the negotiations on a permanent agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu has stressed several times recently that the West dares not offer Iran any concessions in return for Tehran’s help in the struggle against the Islamic State.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss the unilateral moves being made in the United Nations by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is looking to promote a General Assembly resolution stating that the borders of the future Palestinian state will be based on the 1967 lines, and that the timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank should be no longer than three years.

On Tuesday, Abbas will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the issue. The Americans oppose Abbas’ move and will most likely veto a Palestinian motion for a resolution in the UN Security Council. On Friday, Abbas will address the UN General Assembly, presenting his diplomatic plan and formally launch the renewed unilateral Palestinian move in the Security Council.

Apart from his UN General Assembly address, Netanyahu is slated to hold meetings with several leaders in New York. One of the more interesting of which will be with the new prime minister of India, Narandra Modi. Netanyahu called Modi immediately after his election win last May, congratulated him and expressed his wish to strengthen the ties between the countries. Compared to most Indian politicians, Modi is considered to be very friendly to Israel. He isn’t afraid to make public statements in favor of Israel, and even made a trip to Israel a few years ago.



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