Days Before Election, Timothy Geithner Shows up at US-Israel Loan Guarantee Signing
Last week U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Israeli Finance Ministry Director General Doron Cohen met to sign an extension of the U.S.-Israel Loan Guarantee program in an event in the Diplomatic Room of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
According to a source on the Israeli side with knowledge of the meeting, however, the timing of Geithner’s appearance was unusual and somewhat peculiar.
“Usually this is something that goes on between lower level officers. The Israeli Finance Ministry Director meets with U.S. officers and the agreement is signed. However, a few days before the scheduled meeting we got a call from U.S. officials telling us that Geithner will sign,” the source told The Algemeiner.
According to the source Geithner’s appearance seemed especially convenient considering the upcoming U.S. election. “Before the election season it was not so easy to imagine meeting with Geithner. I don’t think Israel was in their priorities. But now before the election he came to sign the agreement. If the election was next year Geithner wouldn’t have shown up.”
The source also noted that to his knowledge Timothy Geithner hadn’t met with Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz during his term as Treasury Secretary.
President Obama signed legislation in July extending the U.S. loan guarantee program for Israel to 2016. This allows the U.S. to provide up to $3.8 billion in future loan guarantees as part of a $9 billion commitment made by the U.S. to Israel in 2003.