Israel

Israel?s President Reuven Rivlin has declined an invitation by the White House to meet his US counterpart Barack Obama during his upcoming visit to the United States.

?Over the past few days, there has been contact between the relevant parties in Israel and the US, discussing the possibility of a meeting between President Obama and President Rivlin during his visit to New York,? a president?s residence statement read Sunday.

Rivlin will be in New York this week to attend a UN gathering.

?At this stage, it has been agreed not to hold a meeting during his visit, due to the schedule constraints of both leaders, and that a meeting would be scheduled at a later date,? said the statement.

The announcement come less than a week after the White House said there will not be a meeting between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to the US in early March.

Netanyahu has been invited by US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress on March 3 regarding Iran?s nuclear program.

The White House says the invitation is a ?departure from protocol.?

The invitation to address the US Congress, extended without having consultations with the White House and the State Department, marks a sharp rejection of Obama?s plea for the new Republican-dominated Congress to stay out of negotiations over Iran?s nuclear program.

?We haven?t heard from the Israelis directly about the trip at all,? White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on January 21.

?The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he is travelling there. That is certainly how President Obama?s trips are planned,? he said. ?So this particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol.?

Source: YH/NN/HRB / Press TV

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