Germany's Merkel Set for Three-day Israel Visit Just Weeks Before Stepping Down

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference on the current developments in Afghanistan, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Monday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference on the current developments in Afghanistan, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Monday.Credit: POOL/ REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to travel to Israel at the end of the month for a three-day visit.

She will hold talks with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on August 29, and meet with President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, among others, deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said on Friday.

Merkel will also lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. She will return to Germany on August 30.

This will be Merkel's first and likely last official meeting with Bennett as prime minister since he was sworn in in June. The German leader will be stepping down next month after 16 years in power. On Friday, she flew to Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Next Thursday, before his meeting with Merkel, Bennett will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, the Prime Minister's Office and the White House said on Wednesday.

Bennett intends to forefront the Iranian issue at his meeting with the U.S. president, and will present Biden with information detailing Iran's progress in the last few days with its uranium enrichment drive. 

At a press conference on Wednesday, Bennett said that ahead of the U.S. visit "a process of policy formulation on the Iranian issue in all its aspects has been completed." Both Israel and the United States share the goal of stopping Iran's negative activity in the region and of stopping its nuclear drive, Bennett said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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