House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will travel to Jerusalem at the end of March and meet with newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to reports.
The visit will come weeks after Boehner angered the Obama administration by inviting the Isreali leader — without consulting the White House — to address a joint meeting of Congress.
In his March 3 speech before Congress, Netanyahu brought a message critical of the administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran.
According to the Israeli paper Haaretz, the trip was planned in advance of Netanyahu’s reelection, but the paper is reporting that it is “likely to be a ‘victory celebration’ for Netanyahu and Obama’s arch rival.”
“He looks forward to visiting the country, discussing our shared priorities for peace and security in the region, and further strengthening the bond between the United States and Israel,” Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said in a statement to Politico.
The Speaker’s office tells Politico that the trip was planned even before Boehner invited Netanyahu to address Congress.