Washington: US President Barack Obama has spoken with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for an hour during which the two leaders reaffirmed their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, the White House said.
"President Obama spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu for an hour tonight as a part of their ongoing consultations. The two leaders discussed the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program, and our close cooperation on Iran and other security issues," the White House said yesterday.
Obama and Netanyahu reaffirmed that they are united in "their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon", and agreed to continue their close consultations going forward.
"Contrary to reports in the press, there was never a request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama in Washington, nor was a request for a meeting ever denied," the White House said.
Earlier in the day, two top Republican Senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham have expressed surprise on news reports that Obama has refused to meet Netanyahu in New York later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, because of scheduling conflicts.
"We are surprised and disappointed by reports that the White House has denied a request from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama while he is visiting the United States," the Senators said.
It is puzzling that the President can't make time to see the head of state of one of America's closest allies in the world, they said.
"If these reports are true, the White House's decision sends a troubling signal to our ally Israel about America's commitment at this dangerous and challenging time, especially as Iran continues to work actively toward developing a nuclear weapons capability," the Senators added.