By Julian Pecquet - 02/12/14 10:45 AM EST
The White House confirmed Wednesday that President Obama will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House next month.
The March 3 visit comes amid deep concerns in Israel about Obama's interim nuclear deal with Iran and Secretary of State John Kerry's push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Netanyahu will be in Washington for the annual policy conference of America's largest pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
“The President looks forward to discussing with the Prime Minister progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, developments in Iran, and other regional priorities,” the White House said in a statement. “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit is a demonstration of the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel, and our close consultations on a range of security issues.”
Netanyahu has called the interim deal with Iran a “historic mistake” and argues Iran is merely seeking to dismantle sanctions while preserving its capability to move full speed ahead with a nuclear weapon at a time of its choosing. He is also facing a backlash from conservative members of his governing coalition who are concerned about proposals to divide Jerusalem and remove Israeli troops from the Jordan Valley.
The Israeli embassy in Washington first announced that the two leaders would be meeting in a tweet on Monday.
PM Netanyahu to meet Pres Obama in March; will discuss ways to prevent Iran from producing nukes & ways to advance peace w/Palestinians— Embassy of Israel (@IsraelinUSA) February 10, 2014
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