Germany’s Merkel to Visit Israel at End of Month
i24 News – German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to travel to Israel at the end of the month for a three-day visit before stepping down in September after 16 years in power.
The German leader is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on August 29, deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said on Friday.
The talks will be the first since Bennett took office in June and likely the last as Germans head to the polls on September 26 to elect a new Bundestag (German federal parliament), including Merkel’s successor as chancellor.
Bennett had invited Merkel to visit Israel in June during a congratulatory call on his taking office and the swearing in of the new government.
“Germany and Israel are linked by a unique friendship that we want to deepen further. With this in mind, I look forward to working closely with you,” Merkel said to Bennett during the call.
Merkel will also meet with President Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid and other senior officials while visiting the Jewish state.
Merkel will also lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem before returning to Germany on August 30.
The last time the German leader visited the Jewish state was in October of 2018 when she held a joint press conference in Jerusalem with former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently visited Israel to personally thank former president Reuven Rivlin before he left office, saying in a joint press conference that he was “honored” to be present in Jerusalem with his delegation before Rivlin’s term expired.