President Barack Obama said he declined to meet with Bibi Netanyahu during the Israeli leader’s visit to the United States in March because it would be “inappropriate” two weeks before an election in that country, Reuters reports.
Netanyahu’s trip has become a diplomatic sore point with political overtones on both sides. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, invited the Israeli prime minister to address Congress without informing the White House or congressional Democrats.
A meeting so close to Israel’s March 17 election could be seen as helping Netanyahu.
“I’m declining to meet with him simply because our general policy is we don’t meet with any world leader two weeks before their election,” Obama said in an excerpt of a CNN interview released on Wednesday.
“I think that’s inappropriate, and that’s true with some of our closest allies,” the Democratic president told the television network.
Read more at Voice of America.