Mike Pompeo
Mike PompeoReuters

Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), who visited Washington this week for the first time since taking office he had requested to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo but was refused, senior Jerusalem officials told Channel 13 News correspondent Barak Ravid

"The officials noted that the refusal was unusual, since previous foreign ministers' visits to Washington were marked with much more fanfare," Ravid noted.

In a series of tweets, he wrote: "In a pre-flight statement, Katz said he expected to meet with Pompeo. However, the meeting never took place. The officials noted that Pompeo's office told the Israeli embassy in Washington and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that his schedule did not allow for the meeting."

"However, during the two-and-a-half days Katz was in Washington, Pompeo had time to meet with Tony Blair, as well as with foreign ministers from Bahrain, Greece, Tunisia, and Colombia. Not meeting with Katz is even more unclear due to the fact that they both spent two days in the same building at a conference on freedom of religion in the US Department of State.

"During the conference, Katz shook Pompeo's hand and the two exchanged pleasantries, and Katz met Sam Brownback, a lesser State Department official and the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Katz did not hold meetings with other administration officials, but did meet with senators and congressmen."

"The Foreign Minister was offered two options: A short meeting with Pompeo during the conference, or to schedule an additional visit during which he would hold a longer meeting with Pompeo," Katz's office told Ravid in a statement. "Minister Katz chose the second option, and the meeting will soon be scheduled."

The State Department told Ravid: "Unfortunately, Secretary of State Pompeo was unable to meet Foreign Minister Katz due to scheduling difficulties. Pompeo looks forward to working together with Katz in the future."