JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive Wednesday in New York for the General Assembly. He told his Cabinet on Sunday that he will meet with Obama, as well as other world leaders, during the annual U.N. confab.
White House National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes confirmed the scheduled meeting to reporters over the weekend. Obama is not scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the White House.
Netanyahu and Abbas are both scheduled to address the General Assembly on Friday, after which Abbas said he will submit a bid for full membership for the state of Palestine to the U.N. Security Council.
"The U.N. is not a place where Israel wins praise, but I think that it is important that I go there in order to represent both the State of Israel and the truth — and the truth is that Israel wants peace and the truth is that the Palestinians are doing everything to torpedo direct peace negotiations," Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu reiterated that the only way for Israel and the Palestinians to achieve a peace agreement is through direct negotiations. He said that Abbas a year ago had declared that the Palestinians’ goal was to be accepted as a U.N. member and its attempt will fail.
"It will fail because it must go through the U.N. Security Council. Decisions that are binding on U.N. members pass through the Security Council," the Israeli leader said. "I am convinced that the activity of the U.S., which is deeply cooperating with us, as well as the activity of other governments with which we are also cooperating will result in the failure of this attempt."