Tue, 03 Oct 2023

Tel Aviv [Israel], September 16 (ANI/TPS): The Israeli government has planned to send a high-level delegation to next week's UN General Assembly in New York City, the Tazpit Press Service has learned.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going to meet with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the General Assembly's opening session.

Netanyahu's delegation is expected to include Foreign Minister Eli Cohen; National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi; Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer; Health and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel; Minister of Environmental Protection Idit Silman; and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog.

Silman is planned to be involved in a climate event on Tuesday, and Arbel is to participate in a pandemic preparedness meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday meetings on universal health coverage and tuberculosis. TPS could not confirm their schedules.

Netanyahu is currently slated to address the international body on Thursday afternoon in New York-well outside the prime-time Israeli television window he reportedly desires. He is attempting to switch to a pre-Shabbat slot in Israel-on Friday morning in New York, according to reports.

Much has been made of the lack of a formal White House invitation for Netanyahu to visit the Oval Office. A senior Israeli official insisted to TPS this week that such a meeting between Biden and Netanyahu is forthcoming; however, scheduling constraints barred such a meeting next week.

The official said that will happen this fall, with Netanyahu repeatedly insisting that Biden invited him to visit during a July phone call.

The White House has been more coy, refusing to say whether a location was agreed upon, leading some to speculate that a less prestigious meeting would only take place on the U.N. sidelines.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office and Israel's diplomatic press corps defused a threatened media boycott of Netanyahu's trip. Journalists traveling with Netanyahu will be able to return to Israel on the same flight as the Prime Minister.

The threat was prompted when journalists were initially told they would not be able to fly back with the Prime Minister, as is customary. The Prime Minister's Office cited the time pressure of Netanyahu leaving the US after the Sabbath and the urgency of arriving in Israel before the start of the Yom Kippur holiday.

Netanyahu is scheduled to depart for the US on Sunday evening, immediately after the end of Rosh Hashanah, and land in San Francisco the following day.

He is expected to visit Silicon Valley for a tour of the tech industry and meet with Elon Musk, the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter. (ANI/TPS)

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