May 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Israel Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discuss annexation in the West Bank, Iran, President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan and the coronavirus.
It's a rare trip overseas for Pompeo since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and his first to Israel since Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz agreed to a unity government last month.
Pompeo said he planned also to meet with Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Party and Knesset speaker.
"I think this is a testament to the strength of our alliance, to the strength of President [Donald] Trump's commitment to the state of Israel, and to the strength of your commitment to the state of Israel and our alliance as well," Netanyahu told Pompeo during the six-hour visit.
"We'll have this great opportunity to chat about lots of topics," Pompeo added.
The two spoke about efforts to contain the coronavirus and Trump's "Vision of Peace" plan, which allows Israel to annex portions of the West Bank as part of a two-state solution. The plan has been rejected by Palestinian leaders.
"We're now some months on from the day that you came to Washington when President Trump announced that Vision for Peace when you were there," Pompeo said. "There remains work yet to do, and we need to make progress on that. I'm looking forward to it."
The secretary of state also said U.S. efforts to curb Iranian influence in Israel have worked so far.
"The campaign that we have been part of to reduce the resources that the ayatollah has to inflict harm here in Israel and all across the world has borne fruit, it has been successful, and we're going to stay at it," Pompeo said.
David Friedman, U.S. ambassador to Israel, did not take part in Wednesday's meeting due to illness that included "mild upper-respiratory symptoms." The embassy said he tested negative for COVID-19 but opted against the visit.