Netanyahu Announces WH Meeting With Next President
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that he will be traveling to the U.S. early 2017 to meet with the next president irrespective of who wins in the November presidential elections.
“Both candidates in the US presidential election have invited me to the White House after the election,” Netanyahu told Knesset members in a speech to mark the opening meeting of the Knesset’s winter session in Jerusalem. “In contrast to what people say, our relations with the US are as strong as ever and will remain that way.”
“I would like to express our appreciation for the [US] aid package we received. It does not mean, however, that occasional disagreements will not arise between us, but I hope they will be rare,” he added.
The prime minister also addressed speculations that President Barack Obama may refocus his attention after the November elections on the failed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations by outlining his own parameters on a future peace deal or by supporting a UNSC resolution.
“Obama declared in 2011 that peace will not be achieved by the UN resolutions, but through direct negotiations,” Netanyahu said. “He was right. I believe he will stay true to this, and not abandon Israel. In any case, Israel will oppose efforts to dictate to us from the outside.”
Netanyahu met with both presidential candidate during his last visit to New York. In his meeting with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee reaffirmed her opposition to any imposed UNSC resolution on the peace process.
Former Ambassador and Mideast envoy Dennis Ross recently said that Obama’s actions depend on who wins next week. “I suspect that if Trump wins, the president would be more inclined to go for a Security Council resolution to try to do something that binds, creates standards for the future that the next president couldn’t undo,” Ross said at a conference on the future of Zionism and the US-Israel relationship in Palo Alta last month. “If Clinton wins, I suspect he would be more sensitive to her concerns as to whether this helps or hurt her.”