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March 1, 2013 11:00 am

Report: Labor Dispute at Israel’s Foreign Ministry Threatens Obama Visit

avatar by Zach Pontz

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President Barack Obama. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A labor dispute at Israel’s Foreign Ministry isn’t only creating complications for Israel, it might threaten US President Barack Obama’s visit as well.

Foreign Ministry employees announced a labor dispute Thursday, in protest of their working conditions. As part of the labor dispute, the employees are considering a number of measures against the ministry’s management, such as the end of contact with other government offices and terminating foreign officials’ visits to Israel, including Obama’s, which is only three weeks away.

According to a statement issued by the workers, the dispute was declared due to excessive hiring of temporary employees, poor working conditions of employees living abroad, and poor management in general.

If Obama’s visit is cancelled because of the labor dispute, it wouldn’t be unprecedented. Two years ago, a foreign ministry strike scuttled the planned visit of then-Russian president Dmitri Medvedev.

Reports also surfaced Friday that his visit could  be threatened by the lack of progress with coalition talks in Israel.

Obama announced last month that he would be visiting Israel for three days, from March 20-22. 

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