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PM Bennett says he plans to head to the US soon ‘pending COVID’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on July 14, 2021. (Noam Revkin Fenton/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on July 14, 2021. (Noam Revkin Fenton/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will fly to Washington next week where he is scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden for the first time, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office confirm to The Times of Israel.

The White House visit is planned for next Thursday and Bennett’s visit is not expected to last more than 48 hours due to COVID precautions, sources say. Just weeks ago, the prime minister urged Israelis to refrain from travel abroad in order to prevent the import of new COVID-19 variants.

To limit such chances, members of Bennett’s delegation will remain together for the entire trip and will not leave their hotel except for official meetings, according to the Walla news site.

Asked about the trip at a press conference, Bennett says he still plans to meet Biden later this month, “pending the coronavirus situation.” He adds that his meeting with Biden would be an important one, focusing primarily on the issue of Iran.

“We completed a process of formulating a policy… about the Iranian issue in all dimensions,” Bennett says. He also touts “an approach of cooperation, an approach that will know how to block Iran’s negative regional activities of instability, harming of human rights, terror and preventing Iran from advancing toward a nuclear weapon breakout.”

“Iran is at the most advanced point ever in the field of [uranium] enrichment,” Bennett adds, “but we know and we have a plan to deal with this and maintain the security of Israeli citizens.”

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