US ‘deeply disappointed’ as Netanyahu cancels Israeli visit to Washington


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Monday it was “deeply disappointed” that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed a high-level Israeli delegation to Washington’s planned visit, after the United States abstained from a U.N. vote demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The trip has been cancelled.

“It’s disappointing. We’re very disappointed that they are not coming to Washington, D.C. so that we can have a full conversation with them about viable options for them on the ground in Rafah,” White House spokesman John Kirby said. From reporters.

Kirby said senior US officials would meet separately for talks with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant, who is currently in Washington, on issues including hostages, humanitarian aid and the safety of civilians in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

war in israel and gaza

RAFAH, GAZA - FEBRUARY 22: Palestinian families, who have been repeatedly displaced due to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, live in makeshift tents in an empty area in southern Rafah, Gaza, February 22, 2024.  (Photo by Abed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Kirby stressed that US policy had not changed despite the UN Security Council’s decision to abstain from voting. He said US officials could continue to raise Washington’s concerns about Israeli policies in Gaza as part of ongoing discussions between the two governments.

“Nothing has changed in our view that a major ground offensive in Rafah would be a huge mistake,” Kirby said.

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(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Rami Ayoub)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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