German Chancellor Merkel travels to Israel for farewell visit

09.10.2021, 14:25

German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Israel on Saturday for a farewell visit that will take in meetings with President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Merkel is leaving office as soon as a new government is in place in Germany after September's elections. Earlier in the week she visited the Pope in the Vatican.

A trip to Israel scheduled for the end of August was cancelled on account of events in Afghanistan.

During this visit, talks with Herzog and Bennett are scheduled for Sunday, and Merkel is also to meet Foreign Minister Jair Lapid.

Among the likely topics on the agenda are the Iranian nuclear programme, relations with the Palestinians and bilateral relations.

Merkel is to meet the Israeli cabinet on Sunday and to lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem in the presence of Bennett during the afternoon.

On Monday, Merkel is to hold a round-table meeting in Jerusalem with representatives of the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), before returning to Germany.

The new Israeli coalition is made up of eight parties from across the political spectrum and includes a party supported by the Arab minority for the first time. It brought to an end the era of Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been prime minister since 2009.