October 8, 2015 / 6:55 AM / in 2 years

Talks on U.S. defence grants to Israel may resume next month: Obama aide

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United States may resume talks on its defence grants to Israel when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Washington next month, an aide to President Barack Obama said on Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) listens as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington September 1, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Israel and the United States had been looking to extend a 10-year aid package worth about $3 billion annually and due to expire in 2017. Netanyahu suspended the talks ahead of the July nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that he opposed.

Deputy U.S. national security adviser Ben Rhodes said on Thursday that negotiations, “kind of got put on hold while this dispute over the nuclear deal was taking place”.

“I think we can take that back up,” he said in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, responding to a question on whether Obama and Netanyahu would discuss the matter at talks set for Nov. 9.

Before the suspension, the two sides were close to a new package of grants worth $3.6 billion to $3.7 billion, U.S. and Israeli officials have said.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Louise Ireland

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