Presidential

Netanyahu to meet with Trump and Clinton

Reaction from Ambs. Nancy Soderberg and Adam Ereli

 

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are scheduled Sunday to meet separately with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a critical meeting in which each is expected to seek support for their respective White House bids from a country often called the United States’ most important ally.

U.S. presidential candidates often visit Israel to meet with leaders. But neither Trump nor Clinton has in the 2016 election cycle.

Trump, the Republican, in December 2015, postponed a trip to Israel to meet with Netanyahu after the prime minister’s office criticized his proposal to temporarily ban Muslim immigrants -- in the aftermath of several terror attacks inspired or executed by radical Islamic terrorists.

Trump tweeted that he would make the trip “after I become President of the U.S.”

A Clinton aide on Friday confirmed with Fox News the meeting between the Democratic nominee and Netanyahu.

None of politicians' aides will say when or where the meetings will take place.

Netanyahu is in the United States, where he met with Obama and addressed the U.N. General Assembly this week in New York.

In the 2012 presidential race, GOP nominee Mitt Romney made the trip to Israel.

Trump, like Romney, has suggested that President Obama and his administration have failed to maintain strong ties with Israel, which has provided Western nations with support and stability amid decades of Middle East turmoil. The U.S. also provides billons annual to Israel in military aid.

Most recently, Trump and fellow Republicans have agreed with Netanyahu that the recent, administration-brokered Iran nuclear deal hurts Israel, Tehran’s enemy, because it lifts economic sanctions without sufficient safeguards to ensure Iran has indeed curbed efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.