Obama: Meeting Netanyahu Two Weeks Before Israeli Elections Would Be 'Inappropriate'

Telling CNN why he won't meet Netanyahu on premier's upcoming visit to Washington, president says this is administration policy toward all world leaders.


U.S President Barack Obama told CNN on Wednesday it would be "inappropriate" for him to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks before the Israeli elections, explaining why he would not see Netanyahu during the premier's upcoming visit to Washington.

"Our general policy is we don't meet with any world leader two weeks before their election," Obama said in an interview with Fareed Zakaria. "I think that's inappropriate, and that's true with some of our closest allies."

In an implied criticism of Netanyahu, Obama noted that British Prime Minister David Cameron made sure to schedule his upcoming visit to the U.S. capital long enough before his country's elections so "that it doesn't look like in some ways we're meddling or putting our thumbs on the scale."

Asked about Netanyahu's controversial planned speech to Congress on behalf of stronger Iranian sanctions, Obama stressed that the prime minister has not yet succeeded in disproving his arguments for negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran.

"They have actually rolled back their stockpiles of highly enriched uranium," said the president. "And so we have lost nothing during this period of negotiations."