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Democrats angered by Netanyahu’s planned Congress speech


US House Democrats expressed anger over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept an invitation extended by the Republicans to speak at a US Congress joint session.

The Israeli ambassador to the United States met with seven House Democrats who slammed Netanyahu’s decision to address Congress next month.

The seven Jewish Democrats and known-Israel supporters asked Netanyahu to postpone his speech or hold in a place other than the Congress, a participant told AP.

They pointed to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer that Netanyahu had taken a wrong step when he accepted the Republicans’ invitation.

Representative of New York Steve Israel who heads a committee campaigning for the Democrats in the House of Representatives said: “I organised the meeting with Ambassador Dermer, and I invited key congressional Democratic supporters of Israel to attend. The meeting comes to remove any obstacles put by the speech and to return to discussing sensitive issues between the two countries.”

In his speech scheduled for 3 March, Netanyahu will focus on Iran and its nuclear programme at a time when delicate negotiations between the United States and several Western countries with Tehran are taking place.

Israel said: “There were a wide range of views that were discussed, but one thing we all agreed on emphatically is that Israel should never be used as a political football.”

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