Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on March 3, according to a senior Israeli official involved in preparations for the meeting.
The meeting between the two leaders is expected to focus on efforts to formulate a framework agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that would allow peace talks to continue through the end of 2014, and on talks between six world powers and Iran aimed at securing a final deal on the latter's nuclear program.
Netanyahu will apparently leave Israel on March 1 and head for Washington, where he will take part in the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference and address the pro-Israel lobby's members on March 4 – a day after his meeting with Obama.
Following his appearance at the AIPAC conference, Netanyahu will head for the West Coast. There he will attend an event to promote tourism to Israel and also visit the high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, near San Francisco, to encourage investment in Israeli high-tech companies.
Meanwhile, the White House overnight issued a rare denial of a report that aired on Israel's Channel 10 on Sunday, which said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought but failed to get a "green light" from Obama to confront Israel over the framework agreement's content.
"Any notion that Secretary Kerry failed to obtain the President's backing for his efforts is totally false," said National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan.
"President Obama remains fully invested in Secretary Kerry's tireless work on behalf of peace, and those efforts are not focused on confronting the parties - they are aimed at bridging differences and developing a framework for negotiation on the core issues," Meehan said.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now