Israeli PM to be invited to address Congress

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress when he travels to the United States next month, the Speaker's office said Thursday. 

Netanyahu will be in the United States May 22-24 to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) annual policy conference in Washington. 

"It will be a great honor for Congress to welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu next month as part of his official visit to the United States," Boehner said. "America and Israel are the closest of friends and allies, and we look forward to hearing the prime minister’s views on how we can continue working together for peace, freedom, and stability."

Netanyahu last visited Congress in March 2010, when he last addressed the AIPAC conference. During that visit, he had a reportedly tense meeting with President Obama at the White House amid a spat between the U.S. and Israel over settlement construction. 

It's not clear if he will meet with Obama or top administration officials during his visit this year. U.S. efforts to restart the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians recently have not yielded concrete steps forward. 

Netanyahu's address would be the fourth by an Israeli prime minister before a joint session of Congress. Netanyahu previously spoke to a joint session during his stint as prime minister in 1996. 

Boehner's office says that the invitation will be formally extended once Congress authorizes a resolution allowing for a joint session.