Israel | National

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Israel ahead of elections

(JTA) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Israel this month with the country in the throes of an election campaign.

Pompeo will be in Israel on March 20 for a summit involving Israel, Greece and Cyprus, Axios reported.

State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters that Pompeo’s visit was not meant to influence the April 9 election.

“Israel is an ally. We’re not going to get involved in the domestic politics of another country,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc are in a close race against the left-center bloc and a new party headed by former army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Pompeo will meet with Netanyahu, but it is not clear whether he also will meet with Gantz.

The visit comes as part of a regional trip that includes Lebanon and Kuwait.

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Washington days after the reported Pompeo visit to speak at the AIPAC policy conference and will meet with President Donald Trump.