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Pompeo to travel to Israel, meet with Netanyahu, Gantz

Pompeo to travel to Israel, meet with Netanyahu, Gantz
U. S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) will meet with Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel on Wednesday. File Photo by Sebastian Scheiner/UPI | License Photo

May 8 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to travel to Israel next week to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his first international trip since coronavirus-related restrictions were put in place.

The department said Friday that Pompeo will depart for Israel on Wednesday. He'll meet with Netanyahu and Speaker of the Knesset Benny Gantz, who last month agreed on a unity government after three close elections.

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The three leaders will talk about efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, security issues and threats from Iran.

"The U.S. commitment to Israel has never been stronger than under President [Donald] Trump's leadership," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

"The United States and Israel will face threats to the security and prosperity of our people together."

Pompeo's trip will be his first since March 23, when he traveled to Afghanistan amid efforts by leaders there to form a new government. After discussions with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Pompeo announced the United States' plan to cut $1 billion in assistance.

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