Netanyahu Cancels DC Trip, AIPAC Appearance

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled initial plans to travel to D.C. to address AIPAC’s Policy Conference later this month, Channel 10 reported on Monday.

According to the Channel 10’s Moav Vardi, Netanyahu was not able to arrange a meeting with President Barack Obama ahead of his upcoming trip to Cuba on March 21 and 22.

The 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference is scheduled for March 20-22. Last month, Israel Hayom reported that the Israeli Prime Minister was going to speak at the annual gathering, as he has done the past years.

Netanyahu and Obama were expected to meet in the Oval Office to finalize the details on a 10-year MOU between the U.S. and Israel. But outstanding disagreements over the U.S. aid package has made it difficult to arrange a meeting so close to the President’s trip to Cuba and Mexico.

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Netanyahu on Wednesday on his first trip to Israel in six years. At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said that the visit is a testament to the strong ties between the two countries. “There have been those who have already predicted the collapse of this relationship – but that is not the case,” he said. “The ties are strong at all levels, and also with regards to the challenges that we share in our region. I will, of course, discuss this with the vice president during his visit.”

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