Netanyahu to meet Obama to discuss security aid

Jerusalem, Nov 8 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he hopes to lay out the grounds for US military support to Israel for the next decade when he meets US President Barack Obama on Monday.

His four-day visit to Washington will mark the first meeting between the two leaders since Netanyahu’s controversial address on Iran to the US Congress on March strained relations between them.

The two have not met since October 2014, as profound disagreements over July’s nuclear deal with Iran have soured relations between the two allies.

Netanyahu told his cabinet that his visit would focus on recent developments in the Middle East, including in Syria, and his country’s security needs.

“I believe that this meeting is important to clarify the continuation of American aid to Israel in the coming decade,” he said, according to a statement released by his office.

“It will be another step toward realizing an understanding in this direction,” he said.

Noting the US’s decades-long security support to Israel, he said the visit was aimed at “strengthening the security of the State of Israel… while maintaining Israel’s comparative advantage in the face of a changing Middle East and a cycle that changes less”.

Among the central issues will be the renewal of the 10-year agreement that will expire in 2017, by which Israel received $3.1 billion a year, The Jerusalem Post said, adding that Israel expects to renew the deal, but wants to expand it to $50 billion over 10 years.

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