Logistics preventing Bibi-Obama meeting at U.N. conference, Obama administration says

(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama will not meet during the United Nations General Assembly due to logistics, an Obama administration spokesman said.

The statement released to Jewish media appears to be in response to an article published Tuesday in the Israeli daily Haaretz that said the White House declined Netanyahu’s request for a meeting on the sidelines of the conference and called it a “a new low” in relations between Netanyahu and Obama.

“The President arrives in New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Sept. 24th, and departs on Tuesday, Sept. 25th. The Prime Minister doesn’t arrive in New York until later in the week. They’re simply not in the city at the same time,” Tommy Vietor, National Security Council spokesman, said in a statement released Tuesday. “But the President and Prime Minister are in frequent contact and the Prime Minister will meet with other senior officials, including Secretary Clinton, during his visit,”

A White House official told JTA that Obama’s schedule is packed and that he is not scheduled to have any bilateral meetings at the General Assembly.

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