Governor Romney lands in Israel for meetings

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Mitt Romney's support for Israel will likely earn the presumptive Republican presidential nominee a warm welcome from Israeli leaders when he meets with them on Sunday.

The visit is part of a three-nation foreign tour that includes Britain and Poland. He hopes the trip will boost his credentials to direct U.S. national security and diplomacy.

Romney, a longtime friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to play up his critique of President Barack Obama's posture toward the Jewish state and his handling of Iran's suspected nuclear weapons ambitions.

In Israel, Romney will be meeting with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, President Shimon Peres and Israeli opposition leaders.

He will not see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but will meet with the Palestinian prime minister in Jerusalem.

Romney is likely to receive a frosty reception because Palestinians fear he would do little to advance their stalled statehood dreams.

In an effort to upstage Romney before his visit to Israel, the White House announced it was signing legislation expanding military and civilian cooperation with Israel.

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