Obama: Netanyahu’s visit too close to election for meeting

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Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama says he will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March because his trip to Washington comes too close to Israel’s upcoming elections.

“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 interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “I think that’s inappropriate, and that’s true with some of our closest allies.”

House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to deliver a speech in front of Congress in March. He’s expected to use that speech to lobby for tough new sanctions against Iran — putting him at odds with Obama, who has threatened to veto additional sanctions as he tries to hash out a deal to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

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