Obama won’t meet Netanyahu during Washington visit

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meets with US president Barack Obama, at the White House, Washington DC on October 01, 2014. (Photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)

US President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to Washington in early March.

Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Thursday that in keeping with “long-standing practice and principle,” the president does not meet with heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections. Israel is scheduled to hold elections on March 17.

Netanyahu will be in Washington in part for a March 3 address to a joint session of Congress. House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the Obama administration.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, said that Boehner blundered when he invited Netanyahu to address the Congress amid sensitive negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program and in the shadow of Israel’s elections…