Netanyahu to Attend Jewish Federations GA in New Orleans, but No Obama Meet

PM will instead meet with Biden, who is keynote speaker at the annual conference of North American Jewry.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to New Orleans in early November for the annual Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, but is unlikely to meet President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu announced his plans at a cabinet meeting on Sunday and said he would hold talks in New Orleans with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is also scheduled to address the November 7-9 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

The U.S. president had been scheduled to speak at last year's GA in Washington D.C., but had to cancel at the last minute to attend a memorial service for American soldiers killed in an attack at an army base in Texas.

Obama, who is trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled over Israeli settlement building, leaves on November 5 for a 10-day visit to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

Israeli officials said Netanyahu plans to leave for the United States on November 7.

A new round of direct peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians got under way in Washington on Sept. 2 only to stop a few weeks later when Israel lifted restrictions it had imposed on a 10-month West Bank settlement building.

netanyahu obama - Reuters - Sept 1 2010

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded a construction freeze in settlements as a condition for resuming the negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu has rebuffed the call, saying the future of settlements that Israel built on land captured in the 1967 Six-Day War should be resolved through peace talks.