‘No offense taken’ after Bibi snubs Obama
Asked whether Netanyahu should’ve told Obama before going to the media, the White House said: ‘It’s just good manners’
Israel would have shown good manners had it informed the United States directly rather than through the news media that it was turning down a proposed summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, the White House said on Tuesday.
But spokesman Josh Earnest said there was “no offense taken” by the decision which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday ascribed to a desire to steer clear of the U.S. presidential election campaign.
It was the latest episode in a fraught relationship between the right-wing Israeli leader and the Democratic U.S. president that has yet to recover from deep differences over last year’s U.S.-led international nuclear deal with Israel’s foe Iran.
The White House said on Monday it had been “surprised” to learn first from Israeli media that Netanyahu had decided against coming to a conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in Washington on March 20, and to see a suggestion in some reports that Obama’s unavailability had been one of the reasons.
It said Netanyahu had been offered a March 18 meeting with Obama, ahead of the president’s landmark visit to Cuba on March 21 and 22.
Asked whether the Netanyahu government should have told the Obama administration before the media, Earnest said on Tuesday, “I think it’s just good manners.”
US ‘surprised’ after Netanyahu declines inviteIsrael and the United States have been seeking to move past deep disagreement over the Iran nuclear accord, which Netanyahu opposed World News
Obama, Netanyahu hail ‘extraordinary bond’Seeking a boost in U.S. defense aid, Israel argues that sanctions relief will allow Tehran to invest more heavily in its missile development World News
Obama, Netanyahu eye arms deal to mend tiesThe deal will not be finalized during the summit and would only come into effect after a current one expires in 2017 Middle East
Netanyahu, Obama make dueling appeals on IranIsraeli PM Netanyahu called the agreement between Iran and the West a ‘bad deal’ that leaves Tehran on the brink of a bomb Middle East