No word from White House on whether Biden to meet Netanyahu in Washington


By Jeff Mason

PARIS (Reuters) – The White House declined to say on Sunday whether President Joe Biden will meet Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits Washington next month to address the U.S. Congress.

“I don’t have anything to announce today,” Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” adding the two men were in regular communication.

“He’s coming to address the Congress. The president talks to him all the time,” Sullivan said.

Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on July 24. Biden has been a staunch supporter of Israel in its war with Hamas in Gaza, but there have been tensions between the two men over how Israel is conducting the war.

Biden, who is running for re-election in November, has faced criticism over his support for Israel from his left-leaning political base as the Palestinian death toll mounts from Israel’s assault.

Sullivan said he hoped a ceasefire and hostage deal would be in place that by the time Netanyahu came to Washington. Hamas must simply say “yes” to the proposal on the table, he said.

Biden, who returns to the United States from France later on Sunday, has welcomed the rescue by Israeli forces of four hostages held by Hamas and vowed to keep working until all hostages were released and a ceasefire achieved.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Editing by Timothy Heritage)



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