Trump Netanyahu and Clinton.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican White House contender Donald Trump will each meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu separately over the weekend, CNN reported Friday.
The meetings are expected to take place Sunday in New York City, but It remains unclear what will be discussed during each respective encounter.
The meetings come one day before the first of three much anticipated debates between the US presidential candidates, set to take place at Hofstra University in Hamstead, New York.
Netanyahu said earlier this week that he was open to meeting
with either candidate while he attends the UN General Assembly debate in Manhattan, according to a senior Israeli official.
The official added that Netanyahu conveyed the importance of speaking to both nominees if meetings were to take place, saying it was crucial to maintain an appearance of impartiality.
The encounter with Trump was arranged through a telephone conversation between representatives for the Republican nominee and the Prime Minister's Office shortly after a meeting with Clinton had been scheduled, a source close to proceedings told CNN.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State John Kerry
earlier Friday in New York following the premier's speech before the United Nations'
annual General Assembly debate. The two discussed security matters concerning the Middle East and the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding which aids Israel an estimated $38 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
Kerry also noted that the US and Israel can still accomplish a number of "things" before the end of the Obama administration, while stating the need to "protect the two-state solution" during remarks before the meeting with Netanyahu.
"There are things we believe we could achieve in the next months, and there are serious concerns that we all have about the security of the region, the need for stability, the need to protect the two-state solution," said Kerry.
Netanyahu commented that he's looking "forward to continuing our conversation, which I have to divulge we do every other day by phone, sometimes every day."
"But it’s always important and productive" the premier continued, "to talk directly about how we can advance peace and stability with our neighbors in the region, and that’s something I look forward to doing with you now."
Netanyahu's meeting with Kerry comes amidst fears in Jerusalem that US President Barack Obama may refrain from rejecting an international initiative at the UN seeking to recognize Palestinian statehood in the last months of his administration.
American politicians have mirrored this concern, with 88 US senators earlier this week submitting a bipartisan letter
calling for the White House to uphold US policy that calls for a veto of any one-sided United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a press release of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).