Obama won't meet with Netanyahu
Because of Israel's upcoming elections, President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won't meet when the Israeli leader is in Washington to address a pro-Israel group and speak to Congress, the White House said.
Netanyahu plans to speak at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee during the first week in March and will address Congress on March 3, the Israeli government said Thursday. Elections in Israel are set for March 17.
"As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country," Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in an e-mail.
Netanyahu's planned U.S. visit puts him in the middle of a roiling debate in Congress over imposing additional sanctions on Iran amid negotiations on the nation's nuclear program.