Obama may cancel visit to Israel if Netanyahu can’t form government by March 16.

“President Barack Obama will cancel his planned visit to Israeli next month if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unable to form a coalition by March 16,” reports Haaretz. “After the Israeli elections on January 22, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was tasked with forming Israel’s new governing coalition….Obama’s visit was expected to take place after the new Israeli government was formed, with the assumption that this would happen by mid-March. A likely date for the visit was set at March 21, although according to a senior Israeli official, the visit would may be postponed until after Passover if the coalition-building process is delayed.”

Meanwhile, “having used up his allotted four-week period to form a coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned to President Shimon Peres Saturday evening and obtained a 14-day extension that he hopes will yet enable him to form a majority government,” reported the Times of Israel. “Peres granted the prime minister an extra two weeks, allowing him through March 16 to assemble a coalition. No further extension is legally permitted.”

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