President Isaac Herzog departed for Washington on Monday night for a two-day visit that will see him meet US President Joe Biden, senior administration officials, Congress members and local Jewish community leaders.
Herzog released a statement ahead of his departure, saying he was traveling at the invitation of his “friend” Biden and that his visit will focus on regional developments, chief among them “the Iranian threat, which is destabilizing not only the Middle East, but the entire world, requiring a firm and united stand against it.”
According to his office, Herzog was invited by Biden to visit when the US president was in Israel this July.
The president said he also intends to “discuss important developments in our region, from the Abraham Accords to the gas deal with Lebanon,” as well as Israel’s “desire and hope to have more nations join the circle of regional peace.”
“We will also discuss other issues, including the climate crisis, the climate challenge — a danger to the entire world and humanity — as well as the opportunities for trade and diplomacy, business relations and others, which of course emanate from the unique Israel-United States partnership,” he added.
His visit also comes as the US has expressed increasing concern over recent violence in the West Bank, and after the White House rebuked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for saying he does not trust the US as a peace negotiator, while meeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Herzog noted that his visit comes during elections season, both in Israel and in the US, calling the timing an “opportunity to reaffirm that the powerful friendship and partnership between our nations is above all disagreements, and above any political or party divisions.”
Israelis head to the polls on November 1 for the fifth time since April 2019. In the US, midterm elections will determine who gains control over the House and the Senate.
Herzog concluded by mentioning the Jewish Diaspora in the US and said that he intends to meet with leaders of the Jewish community there “as part of our efforts to strengthen and reinforce the bridges between Israel and world Jewry.”