Obama, Netanyahu to meet, address AIPAC

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet early next month when both are set to address the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C.

Obama will speak to the gathering on March 4, and Netanyahu will speak on March 5.

In a statement Feb. 20, the White House said the two leaders will meet on March 5.

Obama “welcomes the opportunity to speak to the strength of the special bond between Israel and the United States,” said his spokesman, Jay Carney.

The announcement of Obama’s participation in the conference came after Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, concluded a three-day visit to Israel during which he met with Netanyahu as well as Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the military chief of staff.

The meetings, the statement said, “addressed the full range of security issues of mutual concern.”

Meetings between top U.S. and Israeli officials have been more frequent in recent months as tensions between Israel and Iran have intensified. — jta