White House Confirms Obama-Netanyahu Meeting
The White House confirmed on Tuesday that President Barack Obama will host Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington at the end of the month.
"The president will welcome Israeli prime minister Netanyahu to the White House on Monday, September 30," spokesman Jay Carney said, according to AFP.
Carney noted the two leaders would discuss progress on final status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, as well as Iran, Syria and developments in the Middle East.
Earlier, Netanyahu said his talks with Obama would come ahead of his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, with Iran's nuclear program high on the agenda.
"In another week-and-a-half or so I will travel to the UN General Assembly," Netanyahu said, in a statement from his office quoted by AFP.
"I will first meet with U.S. President Barack Obama," said the statement. "I intend to focus on the issue of stopping Iran's nuclear program.”
On Tuesday, the Maariv daily newspaper reported that Netanyahu postponed the date of his speech in the UN from September 30 to October 1, so that he can meet with Obama, whose schedule is busy with debates on healthcare on other days.
Tehran is locked in a diplomatic stand-off with the West and Israel, who accuse the Islamic Republic of trying to develop and build nuclear weapons. Iran denies the allegations.
Israel will demand, Netanyahu said, that Iran halt all uranium enrichment, remove all enriched uranium from its territory, close its underground nuclear facility in Qom and stop building a plutonium reactor.
"Only a combination of these four steps will constitute an actual stopping of the nuclear program, and until all four of these measures are achieved, the pressure on Iran must be increased and not relaxed, and certainly not eased," Netanyahu said.
Last year at the General Assembly, Netanyahu made his famous “red line” speech, highlighting the immediate danger posed by Iran's nuclear weapons program