Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett plans to travel to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, his office announced.
The in-person speech reflected efforts to return to normalcy despite the coronavirus pandemic. At the UNGA last year, speeches by world leaders — including then-prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu — were largely conducted via video link due to fears of spreading the virus.
Bennett’s speech will be about national and regional security issues, his office said, which will likely include a focus on the Iran nuclear issue and the country’s backing of armed proxy groups, such as Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel rescheduled her visit to Israel that had been postponed in August amid the uproar over the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Germany was one of several other countries that had to quickly arrange for their nationals from the country. Merkel and other European leaders were reportedly outraged over the Biden administration’s failure to consult with them before the abrupt decision to leave.
It will be Merkel’s farewell visit to Israel before departing office.
She is expected to arrive in Israel on October 11, two weeks after the federal elections in Germany are expected to name her successor.