US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday.
Kerry's talk comes amidst the latest flare-up in tensions between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was triggered by the GOP-led Congress' invitation to the Israeli premier to address a joint session on Iran.
Following Wednesday's announcement that Netanyahu had been invited to speak to Congress about Iran without first consulting Obama's administration, US sources warned Thursday that the breach of protocol could have lasting effects for the Israeli premier, according to The Washington Post
"Neither [Speaker of the House of Representatives John] Boehner nor Netanyahu gave the administration any notice of his planned visit, and some US officials were warning that the breach of traditional diplomatic protocol could have lasting consequences for the Israeli leader," The Washington Post
“The bilateral relationship [between Israel and the US] is unshakable,” the newspaper quoted a source close to Kerry as saying. “But playing politics with that relationship could blunt Secretary Kerry’s enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender.”
According to the report, the Israeli ambassador to the US had a meeting with Kerry for more than two hours on Tuesday, saying that Boehner's invitation was not mentioned, nor was Netanyahu's prospective visit. “The secretary’s patience is not infinite,” said the source close to Kerry, who requested to speak anonymously.
On Thursday, fuming Democrats accused Republicans of breaking protocol by inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting them, challenging Israel's assertion that the invitation was extended by both US political parties.
Netanyahu's government issued a statement on Thursday saying the invitation had been extended by the "two-party leadership" of Congress, but congressional aides said they knew of no members of the party who had been consulted.
Furthermore, US President Barack Obama will not meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his upcoming visit to Washington, now rescheduled from February to March, citing “the proximity to the Israeli election.”
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