Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman traveled to Washington Monday, where he is scheduled meet with his American counterpart, Hillary Clinton, and other senior officials, to discuss the current state of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the Arab Spring and the escalating situation in Syria as well as other issues.
On Lieberman’s second visit to the American capital since he became foreign minister, nearly three years ago, he will seek to convey a sense of urgency regarding intensifying international sanctions against Iran, according to Israeli officials. Incidentally, US President Barack Obama on Monday announced tougher sanctions against Tehran’s central bank, aimed at pressuring the regime to abandon its nuclear program.
Besides Clinton, Lieberman is scheduled to meet with the speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner; the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry; and the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. In addition, Lieberman will meet with Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham.
Later this week, the foreign minister will visit New York, where he plans to meet diplomats from member states of the UN Security Council and leaders of the American Jewish community. He is also scheduled to visit Ground Zero.
Next month, on the occasion of the annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, both President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are visiting the United States, at roughly the same time. At this point it is not clear which of the two leaders, if any, will meet with Obama during their trips.
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