Israeli PM to meet Obama on Mideast peace, Iran

13:38, July 06, 2010      

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will leave for Washington on Monday, where he is expected to meet U.S. President Barack Obama.

Sources close to Netanyahu told Xinhua that they think Obama is unlikely to demand Netanyahu announce the extension of the construction freeze in the West Bank during the meeting.

Netanyahu, for his part, will ask Obama to advance American sanctions against Iran, according to the source.

"The freeze is due to end in September, and it is unlikely that the U.S. president will demand Netanyahu announce an extension to the construction freeze in the West Bank for now," a senior official at the prime minister's office said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to comment on the issue.

Before the prime minister's upcoming talks with Obama, Israel's Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs Sunday helped Netanyahu remove a political obstacle by rejecting a bill that will give the Israeli legislature the right to decide on an extension of the West Bank construction moratorium.

Netanyahu asked his Likud Party ministers to vote against the bill. Most of them obeyed, while three voted against him.

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