Germany’s Merkel to Visit Israel Next Week

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Israel next week for a farewell visit before her expected departure from office after 16 years in power, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday.

Merkel had canceled a planned Aug. 28-30 trip to Israel, citing the tense situation in Afghanistan as the United States, Germany and others evacuated personnel ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Speaking in the Knesset, Bennett said Merkel “will arrive here early next week for an important farewell visit.” Merkel last visited Israel in 2018.

Germany’s Social Democrats narrowly won a Sept. 26 national election and are currently courting parties to form a coalition. Merkel, in power since 2005, plans to step down once a new government is formed.