Thursday 11 August 2022

Biden slated to meet with Netanyahu during visit to Israel

US president to meet with opposition leader to avoid the appearance of meddling in Israeli elections, official says

US President Joe Biden is slated to meet with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Israel next month, an official familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel on Saturday.


The meeting was not planned initially but has been added to Biden’s schedule following Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s decision to dissolve the Knesset, sending Israel back to elections.


The Biden administration wants to avoid the perception that it is meddling in Israel’s election, and there is precedent for presidents to meet both the prime minister and opposition leader during an election campaign, the official said.


Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid last week announced their decision to dissolve the 24th Knesset after just one year in power due to their inability to keep their narrow, politically diverse coalition together any longer. If all goes as planned, Israel will head to its fifth national election in under four years in the fall.


Lapid will greet Biden at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on July 13 and hold several meetings with the president throughout the trip, the US official said.


Bennett will also meet Biden, with whom he has built a rapport over the past year.

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