US President Barack Obama will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in New York, a few days after the conclusion of an agreement of military assistance between the two allies.
The meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly will allow the leaders to emphasize the strong links between the two countries, said Josh Earnest, spokesman for the White House.
But it will also be an opportunity to discuss the need for real progress towards a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid “very troubling” recent developments on the ground, he added.
For his part, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he personally thank President Obama for the military assistance agreement signed last week, according to a statement from his office.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will discuss with Obama the challenges in the Middle East and the means to advance peace and security, the statement added.
The two allies signed in Washington on Wednesday, after months of tough negotiations, a draft agreement on $ 38 billion in military assistance for the period 2019-2028 to Isreal.
Obama and Netanyahu arrived at the same time in power (in 2009), and have maintained notoriously appalling relations, interspersed with a series of incidents reflecting the low regard they have for one another.
The last hitch between the two leaders earlier this year. The Israeli PM cancelled at the last minute in March a visit to the White House. The White House, which had learned the cancellation of the trip through the press, did not hide its frustration.
Obama — who is attending his last general meeting of the UN before his departure from the White House — has planned substantial number of bilateral meetings.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos are among the leaders he is scheduled to meet.