PM, Obama to meet at White House in March

Washington announces first meeting of leaders since September amid heightened US concern over Israeli attack on Iran.

February 20, 2012 19:31
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Obama meet in New York

Netanyahu Obama 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

US President Barack Obama will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on March 5, the White House said on Monday.

Netanyahu will be in Washington to address the annual policy conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which will be held on March 4-6.

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The announcement of the White House meeting came in a briefing of a weekend visit between Netanyahu and Obama's National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon, in Jerusalem, amid heightened concern that Israel might attack Iran to thwart its nuclear program.

"Mr Donilon and his delegation addressed the full range of security issues of mutual concern," the White House said. "The visit is part of the continuous and intensive dialogue between the United States and Israel and reflects our unshakable commitment to Israel's security."

Donilon's talks were to have included Iran and Syria, the White House said before he left on the trip. The West accuses Tehran of using its nuclear program to pursue weapons capability, while Iran insists it is for peaceful purposes.

The March 5 meeting between Netanyahu and Obama will mark the first face-to-face-conversation between the leaders since they met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September. At a joint press conference on that occasion, Netanyahu thanked Obama for voicing his opposition to the Palestinian bid for recognition of a state at the United Nations.

Prior to traveling to Washington in March, Netanyahu was scheduled to stop in Ottawa for a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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