Middle East

Germany's Merkel to visit Israel next week, PM Bennett says

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Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a ceremony to mark the 31st anniversary of Germany's Unification Day, in the city of Halle, Germany, October 3, 2021. Jan Woitas/Pool via REUTERS

JERUSALEM, Oct 4 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Israel next week for a farewell visit before her expected departure from office after 16 years in power, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday.

Merkel had cancelled a planned Aug. 28-30 trip to Israel, citing the tense situation in Afghanistan as the United States, Germany and others evacuated personnel ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Speaking in Israel's parliament, Bennett said Merkel "will arrive here early next week for an important farewell visit". Merkel last visited Israel in 2018.

Germany's Social Democrats narrowly won a Sept. 26 national election and are currently courting parties to form a coalition. read more Merkel, in power since 2005, plans to step down once a new government is formed.

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Reporting by Jeffrey Heller and Rami Ayyub; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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