Washington (CNN) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will next meet with President Barack Obama in Washington on July 6 for talks originally planned for earlier this month, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
Emanuel told ABC's "This Week" program that Netanyahu's fifth visit of the Obama administration would discuss the Middle East peace process and other regional issues.
Netanyahu had been scheduled to meet with Obama in Washington on June 1, but the Israeli prime minister postponed the trip after Israel's military raid on an aid flotilla headed to blockaded Gaza resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard one of the ships.
(CNN) - (CNN) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled this week's scheduled meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Israeli government officials said Monday. The two leaders were slated to meet Tuesday during a visit by Netanyahu to Washington.
Netanyahu also decided to cut short a visit to Canada and return to Israel, according to an e-mail statement from his media adviser.
Netanyahu's cancellation of the meeting came in the wake of international condemnation of Israel after Israeli soldiers stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid intended for Palestinians in Gaza, leaving at least nine people dead in the resulting violence.
Israel claimed it was defending itself, with the Israel Defense Forces saying the soldiers' lives were in danger after they were attacked with "severe physical violence, including live fire, weapons, knives and clubs."
Several nations, however, have condemned the military action and called for an investigation.
Obama spoke on the phone with Netanyahu Monday morning, according to a statement from the White House press office. He "said he understood the prime minister's decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today's events ... (and) agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity."
Washington (CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week, according to a White House official.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama spoke by phone Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the Middle East peace process, including how to get to direct peace talks "as soon as possible," the White House announced.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the 20-minute phone call discussed "how best to work together to achieve comprehensive peace in the Middle East, in particular by making full use of substantive proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians and transitioning to direct negotiations as soon as possible."
"They also discussed regional challenges, and the president reaffirmed his unshakable commitment to Israel's security," Gibbs said.
(CNN) - Obama administration's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, returned to the region Thursday, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that "there will be no freeze" on construction opposed by Palestinians and the United States.
Mitchell's visit comes in the wake of talks this week that included U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials.
"At the end of those discussions last night, we thought it was fruitful for George to travel to the region," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. He provided no details.
(CNN) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has informed the Obama administration that he will not attend President Obama's nuclear security summit in Washington next week, according to a senior U.S. official familiar with the situation.
The move could be a sign of further tension between the United States and Israel and may distract from the Obama administration's attempts to highlight the unprecedented nature of a 46-nation summit aimed at reducing nuclear weapons.
The Israeli government is sending Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor in Netanyahu's place, U.S. National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer announced Thursday.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for more than three hours Tuesday evening amid a dispute over Israel's decision to build new Jewish housing on disputed land in East Jerusalem.
The Obama administration has pushed to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and has called on Israel to stop building settlements on territory it captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Netanyahu's meeting at the White House came the day after he defended his government's plans to build new housing units in East Jerusalem, a move that has strained ties with Israel's largest ally.
The Israeli leader arrived after a show of solidarity with leaders of Congress from both parties, during which he thanked the U.S. lawmakers for their "constant support" and "unflagging" friendship.
"Even though the challenges are immense, our will and our partnership is also immense," Netanyahu said at an appearance with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, as the allies remain at odds over Israel's plan to build new housing on disputed land in East Jerusalem.
The leaders will meet two weeks after Israel announced the planned construction of 1,600 apartments in a disputed area claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians. That announcement came during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel and has strained ties between Netanyahu's government and the Obama administration, which is pushing for new talks to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"Our goal in any of this is to create an atmosphere of trust and open dialogue, to bring these two sides together so that the discussions can be substantive in moving towards comprehensive Middle Eastern peace," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at a Monday briefing. "I think the president is hopeful that we will in this meeting make progress and ... get these two parties back to, not just back physically to talks, but to the type of relationship that is necessary for those talks to bear fruit."
On Monday, Netanyahu sharply defended his government's plan for new housing in East Jerusalem.
In a defiant speech to the leading pro-Israel lobby in the United States on Monday night, Netanyahu said Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are "an integral and inextricable part of modern Jerusalem."
"The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied," Netanyahu said to prolonged applause at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). "The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago, and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital."
(CNN) - Israel and most of the world want regime change in Iran, but the main objective is to prevent the current Iranian leadership from developing a nuclear weapon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Appearing on the NBC news show "Meet The Press," Netanyahu said a nuclear-armed Iran would destabilize the Middle East and threaten the entire world by triggering an arms race and supplying catastrophic weapons to terrorists.
"The goal is to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said, adding that most governments in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere agreed. "We all don't want to see this regime acquiring nuclear weapons.… It's not merely an interest of Israel."
U.S. President Barack Obama is as committed as his predecessor to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Netanyahu said.
"It's my view that there's an American commitment to make sure that doesn't happen," he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The elusive search for a Middle East peace will be center stage Thursday as U.S. President Barack Obama sits down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The afternoon White House meeting comes one week after Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pressed the Israeli leader to halt West Bank settlement activity to create a better atmosphere for peace talks.
It also comes only days before Obama is scheduled to meet with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh and deliver a long-awaited speech on relations between the United States and the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt.
During his meeting with Netanyahu, Obama pushed for a firm Israeli commitment to Palestinian statehood as part of the so-called two-state solution - a position strongly advocated by Abbas.
Netanyahu has committed to removing illegal settlement "outposts," but has also pledged to continue expansion, or "natural growth" of existing settlements.
At the same time, he has refrained from endorsing Palestinian statehood, arguing that Israel first needs security guarantees and a clear Palestinian partner for peace talks.