Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday he would address the U.S. Congress in March, saying in a statement the invitation tendered by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner was bipartisan.
Blindsiding the Obama administration, Boehner announced the invitation to Netanyahu on Wednesday, drawing White House complaints that protocol had been breached.
President Barack Obama will not meet with Netanyahu when he in Washington, in keeping with “long-standing practice and principle,” that the president does not meet with heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said,
Netanyahu is expected to focus in his address, his third to Congress, on the Iranian nuclear issue. In his statement, Netanyahu said he was “honored to accept the invitation” and that would use the speech “to thank President Barack Obama, Congress and the American people for their support of Israel.”