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Obama, Netanyahu speak on phone, White House denies snub

Politics Materials 12 September 2012 09:09
US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke for an hour late Tuesday, as the White House denied reports of a snub of the Israeli premier during an upcoming US visit, DPA reported.
Obama, Netanyahu speak on phone, White House denies snub

US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke for an hour late Tuesday, as the White House denied reports of a snub of the Israeli premier during an upcoming US visit, DPA reported.

Israeli media reported earlier that Obama had refused to meet Netanyahu when he goes to the United States later this month for the UN General Assembly, citing schedule restrictions.

The White House said after the phone call that there had been no request for such a meeting, and none had been refused.

The two leaders discussed their cooperation over Iran's nuclear programme and other security topics, the president's office said.

US National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said earlier that the leaders would not meet because they were not scheduled to be in New York at the same time.

"The president arrives in New York for the UN on Monday, September 24th and departs on Tuesday, September 25th," Vietor said.

"The prime minister doesn't arrive in New York until later in the week. They're simply not in the city at the same time. But the Pesident and PM are in frequent contact and the PM will meet with other senior officials, including Secretary Clinton, during his visit."

An unnamed Israeli official was cited by the Haaretz and Jerusalem Post newspapers as saying that Netanyahu had asked to meet with Obama in Washington during his visit, but that the White House had declined because of the electoral campaign.

Netanyahu has had harsh words for the US in recent days over Washington's reluctance to publicly draw a "red line" over Iran's nuclear programme.

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