JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin have not met in nearly two months, the president said, due to differences over foreign policy.
The two leaders had met at least once a month since Rivlin became president a year ago, but their last meeting was on July 17, Rivlin said Wednesday during a half-hour interview with Army Radio.
“I think we’ve exhausted our differences vis-à-vis our relations with the different international systems,” Rivlin said. “Until these things are off the agenda, it seems we don’t need to meet because it seems each one is busy with the same issues.”
Netanyahu was on the way to London for an official visit at the time of the interview.
In interviews with the Israeli media in early August, Rivlin publicly criticized Netanyahu’s handling of relations with the United States and President Barack Obama .
“There are three principles to Israel’s foreign policy,” Rivlin told the Hebrew-language Haaretz newspaper in an interview marking his first year in office. “First, relations with the U.S.; second, relations with the U.S.; and the third principle — relations with the U.S.”
Rivlin was not the prime minister’s choice for president, and Netanyahu actively worked against Rivlin’s election to the position.