SHAFAQNA- US Vice President Joe Biden will not attend a controversial speech Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to make to Congress next month, in a new White House snub of the Israeli prime minister.
The Vice President´s office expects that the Vice President will be traveling abroad during the joint session of Congress, an official said.
As president of the Senate, Biden would be expected to attend any joint meeting.
Eight foreign leaders have addressed a joint meeting of Congress since Biden became vice president in 2009.
He has attended all but one that of then Australian prime minister Julia Gillard in 2011.
Obama has said he will not meet Netanyahu during his visit, which comes a few weeks before the prime minister seeks re-election. The speech before Congress is expected on March 3.
It is a matter of long-standing practice and principle that the president does not meet foreign leaders engaged in an electoral campaign, the White House has said.
But Obama had also been irked by the subject of Netanyahu´s speech Iran.
Obama´s allies fear the trip could be used by Israel and by US Republicans, who control Congress and issued the invitation, to undercut nuclear talks with Tehran just as they appear poised to bear fruit.