White House denies report Obama invited Netanyahu for Washington meeting

Officials in Washington, Jerusalem say no invitation has been extended; senior U.S. official says he expects the two leaders will have an opportunity to meet in the future

Officials in the White House and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office denied a report in the Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that claimed U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a meeting in Washington in mid-July.

A senior official in the U.S. administration told Haaretz that as yet no invitation was extended from Obama to Netanyahu to come to Washington. However, the official added that “absolutely we’d expect that there will certainly be occasion for the two of them to meet in Washington at some point going forward.”

A source within the Prime Minister’s Office said that as yet no invitation was received regarding a Netanyahu visit to the U.S.

National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, who is in Washington, met with his U.S. counterpart Susan Rice for dinner on Monday night. Deputy Spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, Alistair Baskey, said that the two discussed the ties between Israel and the U.S. as well as regional security issues. A senior Israeli official said that a key part in the discussion focused on the unfolding nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday that Obama invited Netanyahu to the White House on July 15 or 16, after the nuclear deal is signed. It was also reported that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will travel to Washington later in July to meet his U.S. counterpart Ashton Carter.

By Haaretz