Obama and Netanyahu Prepare to Meet Over Iran Again


The main objective of both Obama and Netanyahu is to prevent any possibility of misunderstandings or tensions during their Monday meeting at the Oval Office and the statements to the press.

Three hours after his speech at AIPAC, President Shimon Peres left the Blair House official guest residence and flew to San Francisco. In Silicon Valley, there are lighter topics waiting for him – Iran and Obama at AIPAC will be replaced by Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.
For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the situation is opposite. He spent the last three days in the Canadian capital Ottawa. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will completely and automatically support anything that Netanyahu or Israel will say or do and won’t ask Netanyahu hard questions. Also, Netanyahu had a relatively quiet weekend (aside from the Uzi Arad annoyance) during which he celebrated his wedding anniversary with his wife Sara.
On Sunday evening, when Netanyahu replaces Peres at the Blair House, he also will replace the mood. Netanyahu and his associates have been conveying discomfort in recent weeks about the conduct of the American government on the Iran issue. It is not clear if this is a tactic or if this is an actual feeling that Obama cannot be trusted on Iran.
The Netanyahu-Obama meeting on Monday at the White House will mostly be one-on-one. In recent days, there were intensive contacts between the offices of the two leaders to prepare for the meeting in the best manner possible. The talks involved the national security advisers from both sides Tom Donilon and Yaakov Amidror, the ambassadors Dan Shapiro and Michael Oren, Netanyahu’s political adviser Ron Dermer, and Donilon’s deputy denis McDonough.
The idea of issuing a joint statement at the end of the meeting was put aside in recent days. However, both sides’ main objective remains to prevent any possibility of misunderstandings or tensions during the meeting, and moreover, during the statements to the press. Last May, tensions and lack of coordination on the Palestinian issue turned into a confrontation in front of the cameras, during which Netanyahu gave Obama an uncomfortable lesson on the history of the Jewish people.
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SOURCE: Haaretz
Barak Ravid