Israeli president to follow Netanyahu with visit in December

Israeli president to follow Netanyahu with visit in December
© Getty

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is coming to Washington, D.C., next month, the White House said on Tuesday, following up on this week’s visit from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Dec. 9 meeting would be the first time President Obama has sat down with Rivlin, who was sworn into office in July 2014, succeeding Shimon Peres.

After the meeting, Rivlin will attend the White House’s annual reception for Hanukkah.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bond between the U.S. and Israel is “sacrosanct,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Democratic candidates should counter Trump's foreign policy Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty MORE said on Tuesday, during remarks at the general assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

“It’s a solemn commitment made by all who sit in the Oval office — Democrats and Republicans — going back to Harry Truman.”

The role of Israel’s president is considered largely symbolic, since most power is wielded by the prime minister.

Still, Rivlin’s visit to Washington underscores the Israeli effort to reach out to the Obama administration, following a heated year of debate over the Iran nuclear deal and amid concerns that the two governments are drifting further apart.

In addition to the Iran deal — which Netanyahu on Tuesday said that Israel would work with the U.S. to implement, despite its fierce opposition — the two leaders are also likely to discuss talks for a 10-year pact on American military assistance

Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu told the same gathering of Jewish organizations that he had had a “wonderful” discussion with Obama about securing that assistance.

“These talks will take time and we’re going to get them right,” added McDonough.

This story was updated at 2:47 p.m.