Netanyahu to Meet With Clinton, Trump on Sunday

Netanyahu has made it his policy in recent months that Israel would maintain absolute balance in its contacts with the two candidates in the White House race.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flanked by Trump (L) and Clinton (R).
AFP / Joe Raedle ; Marc Israel Sellem ; AP / Andrew Harnik

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with both Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in separate meetings in New York City on Sunday, a senior Israeli source told Haaretz on Friday. 

The senior official said that the meetings between Netanyahu and the candidates materialized during the last 24 hours, starting with a phone call Trump's aides held with the prime minister's advisors. Once it was clear that a meeting between the two was possible, Netanyahu's office contacted Clinton's campaign and asked to hold a meeting with her too, in order to keep the balance. 

Netanyahu has made it his policy in recent months that Israel would maintain absolute balance in its contacts with the two candidates in the White House race. Netanyahu, who in 2012 acted in a way that was perceived as him interfering on behalf of nominee Mitt Romney and against the incumbent president, Barack Obama, is interested in avoiding giving even the slightest impression of interference.

"The prime minister's instruction was clear – if we meet with one side, we must also meet with the other side," the senior official said. "We are following the number of meetings to make sure that one side doesn't get more meetings than the other."

On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, also in New York for the UN's annual gathering, held two seperate meetings with Clinton and Trump. During the meetings, the two candidates presented their positions concerning the Middle East, and Egypt specifically.