Merkel Murmuring Over Visit Leak

YERUSHALAYIM -

A leak about plans for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Israel has annoyed her, the Kan public broadcaster reported Thursday.

Merkel tentatively agreed to make a trip to Yerushalayim in August to meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog, but her office wanted it kept confidential until it had been finalized.

The report said Merkel was hesitant, and a German official told Kan that there was still significant uncertainty surrounding the trip.

“There is still a long way to go until August and during the coronavirus pandemic, nothing is certain,” the unnamed official said.

Merkel last visited Israel in 2018, when she met with then-prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited most recently in May during the fighting between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups.

Meanwhile, Bennett is said to be considering making a trip next month to the United States on a weekend, in order to avoid missing crucial Knesset votes, a diplomatic source told The Times of Israel on Wednesday.

Following then-president Reuven Rivlin’s visit to the White House two weeks ago, President Joe Biden extended an invitation to Bennett to “as early as possible.” Their offices are still working on a date.