Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu To Have Dinner With Vice President Biden

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Ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have dinner with Vice President Joe Biden Monday night at the Naval Observatory.

The dinner comes after Biden's somewhat contentious visit to Israel earlier this month, during which the Israeli government announced plans to build over a thousand new housing units in East Jerusalem despite U.S. objections.

Biden condemned the decision at the time, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the move "an insult" to U.S. efforts to promote peace in the region.

While Netanyahu apologized to Biden for the "unfortunate timing" of the announcement, he struck a defiant tone in remarks at the start of the weekly Israeli Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

"Our policy toward Jerusalem is the same policy of all Israeli governments in the past 42 years and it has not changed," Netanyahu said. "From our point-of-view, construction in Jerusalem is like construction in Tel Aviv."

"These are the things which we have made very clear to the American administration," he added.

Following the dinner with Biden, Netanyahu will address the AIPAC Policy Conference, the pro-Israel community's preeminent annual gathering. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates for pro-Israel policies.

Additionally, U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell revealed Sunday that President Obama has invited Netanyahu to meet with him at the White House Tuesday night.

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