Romney to visit Israel in late July, meet with Netanyahu

WASHINGTON Mon Jul 2, 2012 5:35pm EDT

U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney departs after delivering his reaction to the Supreme Court's upholding key parts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul law at a rooftop news conference in Washington June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney departs after delivering his reaction to the Supreme Court's upholding key parts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul law at a rooftop news conference in Washington June 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will travel to Israel in late July for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aimed at fleshing out his foreign policy credentials.

Romney will be overseas in late July to attend the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympic Games in London. His campaign often promotes Romney's leadership of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 as a key part of his biography as he tries to unseat President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.

A former governor of Massachusetts, Romney lacks foreign policy experience. He would like to attract support from Jewish voters who traditionally back Democrats, and he has accused Obama of putting the U.S. relationship with Israel at risk in pushing Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians.

A campaign aide said Romney would meet with Netanyahu on his visit. The New York Times said Romney would also meet Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Israeli President Shimon Peres, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and leaders of the opposition Labor Party in Jerusalem.

Obama angered the Israelis a year ago when he embraced a goal long sought by the Palestinians, that the state they seek in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip should largely be drawn along lines that existed before the 1967 war in which Israel captured those territories and East Jerusalem.

Romney said in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in December that Obama has proposed that Israel adopt "indefensible borders" and had been "timid and weak in the face of the existential threat of a nuclear war" from Iran.

Netanyahu and Obama have had a thorny relationship and the right-wing Israeli leader has come under pressure in Washington not to take unilateral military action against Iranian nuclear facilities suspected of being part of a project to produce nuclear weapons.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (26)
NHampshire wrote:
TOTALLY shameful! Does this foreign country control our foreign policy? What business does he have going to a foreign country to do that?

Jul 02, 2012 6:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
hotmess wrote:
Typical from Reuters. “A former governor of Massachusetts, Romney lacks foreign policy experience.” So exactly what was the former Senator from Illinois credentials?

Jul 02, 2012 6:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
hotmess wrote:
If you’re like Obama, maybe it’s to raise money. Romney could walk on water and you would fine reason to criticize him.

Jul 02, 2012 7:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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