German chancellor to visit Israel next week
Merkel will not visit Palestinian-run territories during her 3-day visit, says her spokesman
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Israel next week after she initially canceled it in August as a result of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, her spokesman said Friday.
Speaking at a routine press briefing in Berlin, Steffen Seibert said Merkel will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Izchak Herzog, and Foreign Minister Jair Lapid for talks in Jerusalem on Oct. 10. The German leader will also meet with the Israeli cabinet members during her Oct. 9-11 visit.
The chancellor is also scheduled to lay a wreath in the presence of Bennett at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
At a ceremony in Jerusalem, Merkel will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
According to the program, Merkel will also join a roundtable with representatives of the Institute for National Security Studies from Tel Aviv on Oct. 11.
Meanwhile, Seibert said the chancellor will not visit the Palestinian-run territories when she will be in Israel. The chancellor's last visit to the West Bank was in 2006.
Sworn in in mid-June, the new Israeli coalition government is supported by a total of eight parties from the right to the left, including an Arab party for the first time. This marked the end of the era of long-term right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been in office without interruption since 2009.