update desk

White House says still no plans to host Netanyahu

"I expect the prime minister will visit at some point," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

U.S. President Joe Biden at a NATO summit in Brussels on March 24, 2022. Photo by Gints Ivuskans/Shutterstock.
U.S. President Joe Biden at a NATO summit in Brussels on March 24, 2022. Photo by Gints Ivuskans/Shutterstock.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that no visit is currently planned for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come to the White House, repeating comments from March.

“Israeli leaders have a long tradition of visiting Washington. President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu have known each other for a long, long time. I expect the prime minister will visit at some point,” Kirby said.

Kirby was reacting to comments made on Monday by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “I expect the White House to invite the prime minister over for a meeting, especially with the 75th anniversary,” said McCarthy, who is leading a bipartisan delegation to Israel this week on the 75th anniversary of the state’s founding.

Kirby told reporters he was aware of McCarthy’s comments.

McCarthy said on Sunday that if the president doesn’t invite Netanyahu to the White House, then he will extend his own invitation to the premier to come to Washington.

“He’s a dear friend, as a prime minister of a country that we have our closest ties with,” McCarthy told the daily.

McCarthy said that Israeli President Isaac Herzog will be visiting the White House. “I know President Herzog will be coming soon for a Joint Session [of Congress],” he said.

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