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Biden to host Rivlin at White House next week

Outgoing Israeli president to make Washington trip before ending seven-year term on July 7

Then-US vice president Joe Biden, right, poses for a photo with President Reuven Rivlin, left, during a meeting at the president's official residence in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (AP Photo/ Sebastian Scheiner)
Then-US vice president Joe Biden, right, poses for a photo with President Reuven Rivlin, left, during a meeting at the president's official residence in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (AP Photo/ Sebastian Scheiner)

US President Joe Biden will host President Reuven Rivlin at the White House on June 28, Biden’s press secretary announced on Saturday.

“President Rivlin’s visit will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel and the deep ties between our governments and our people. It will be an opportunity to consult about the many challenges and opportunities facing the region,” Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Rivlin’s seven-year term as president is due to end on July 7, and the White House said the visit “will honor the dedication he has shown to strengthening the friendship between the two countries over the course of many years.”

Rivlin’s invitation to the US was extended last month by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as the top American diplomat visited the region to help shore up a ceasefire that ended the 11-day war between Israel and terror groups in Gaza.

The visit will come two weeks after the new government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was sworn in, removing Benjamin Netanyahu from power after 12 years.

Rivlin, 81, will be succeeded by Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog next month. Biden congratulated Herzog upon his election last month by the Knesset.

The US president’s relationship with Herzog, a former head of the dovish Labor party, spans decades. They met several times when Biden was vice president and Herzog led the Knesset opposition to Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

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