US envoy in Israel to Rivlin: Obama will visit Israel

Cunningham doesn't specify date but says visit is on agenda; Rivlin: Israelis sense atmosphere in White House has changed for the worse.

July 5, 2011 14:04
PM Netanyahu, US President Obama at White House

PM Netanyahu with US President Obama at White House 311. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)


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US President Barack Obama will visit Israel, US ambassador to Israel James B. Cunningham told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.

"The president wants to visit and he will do so," Cunningham told Rivlin. Though he did not specify a date for the visit, Cunningham said it was on Obama's agenda.

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Rivlin told Cunningham that "Israelis sense that the atmosphere in the White House has changed for the worse. The feeling is that Obama views Israel as a burden more than as a strategic asset."

"When the president visited Egypt and the region, he decided not to visit Israel, something which bothered many Israelis," Rivlin continued. "One cannot alienate himself from the public's feelings while trying to change them through explanations."

Cunningham responded to Rivlin telling him that such feelings were erroneous and that the president plans to visit Israel.

Cunningham will be resigning from his post after serving as ambassador for three years.

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