Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu spoke overnight with US Vice President Joe Biden,
his office said amid a simmering row between the two allies.
Netanyahu's office confirmed the conversation, first
reported in the New York Times, but gave no details of the
substance of the talks.
The row erupted when Washington, frustrated by the lack
of success for its peace brokering, reacted angrily last week
to an Israeli announcement that 1,600 new homes for Jewish
settlers would be built in east Jerusalem, the mainly Arab
half of the Holy City that was annexed after being captured in
The move came two days after the United States convinced
the Palestinians to take part in indirect "proximity" talks
with the Israelis, and during a visit to Jerusalem by Biden
aimed at encouraging peace efforts.
Netanyahu is due to visit the United States next week to
speak at a meeting of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby.
Israeli public radio reported Netanyahu would likely meet
with Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the
Officials in Netanyahu's office said nothing had been
confirmed but they were "trying to set up meetings with
congressional leaders and senior officials in the
First Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 22:50