White House officials said Tuesday there are still no arrangements regarding the possibility of US President Joe Biden inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, noting that the US administration has not yet issued an official invitation.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “There is nothing on the schedule right now,” when asked by reporters whether Netanyahu was invited to visit Washington.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Biden plans to host the Israeli leader in coming months, citing US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides. He said no date had been set.
Nides said he expected any planned meeting to take place after the Jewish festival of Passover ends April 13, the Times reported.
“He obviously will be coming,” Nides said. “I assume after Passover.”
The Biden administration plans to host this week the second Summit for Democracy, a three-day, in-person and virtual event.
Kirby said that Israel “has been invited” to the Summit.
Meanwhile, the Israeli PM is likely to deliver his speech on Wednesday. An Israeli official indicated there were no plans to change Netanyahu’s participation in the summit.
According to leaked reports, a sign of rift in the Biden-Netanyahu relationship emerged after the two men conducted talks last week, during which the US President conveyed his concerns about the plans of the Israeli PM and his right-wing Likud party to change the judicial system in Israel.
Despite the public statements of US officials announcing Washington’s firm support for Israel, there is growing frustration among Republican Party leaders and opposition officials concerning the statements and provocations of some Israeli ministers delivering comments on settlements and others against the Palestinians.