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September 21, 2018 9:44 am

Trump, Netanyahu to Speak at UN General Assembly Gathering in New York

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US President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion International Airport on May 23, 2017. Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO – The Trump administration announced on Thursday that the president will take time to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines at the UN General Assembly meeting next week in New York.

The scheduled discussion comes in the midst of tensions between Israel and Russia over the downing of a Russian plane by Syria, an attack that was initially blamed on Israel.

Trump is also expected to meet with the heads of Egypt, France, South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Not included is Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

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“I’m not aware of any meetings taking place,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at Thursday’s press briefing in Foggy Bottom.

Relations with the PA leadership have become especially chilly in the aftermath of the administration defunding Us aid for the PA and UNRWA, in addition to closing the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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