Mitt Romney will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this summer, in Israel, according to a senior Netanyahu aide.
The New York Times first reported this story.
“He’s [Romney] a strong friend of Israel and we’ll be happy to meet with him,” said Ron Dermer, a senior adviser to Netanyahu. “We value strong bipartisan support for Israel and we’re sure it will only deepen that.”
Romney, who said at this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington that his first foreign trip as president would be to Israel, currently trails President Obama by 35 percentage points among the American-Jewish electorate, according to the most recent polling.
Romney has traveled to the Jewish state 3 times in the past, and in June of this year he said he receives updates from Israeli government officials in order to stay current on regional developments in the Middle East. Romney also claimed his policies towards Israel would be “the opposite” of President Obama’s if he were elected to the presidency.
According to the New York Times’ report, Romney is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli President Shimon Peres, in addition to his sit down with Netanyahu.
“The prime minister meets Democratic and Republican officials alike,” Dermer said of Netanyahu. “I’m sure they want to broadcast a very strong relationship with Israel, and Israel wants to broadcast a very strong bipartisan relationship with both sides of the aisle.”