- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Gov. Mike Pence plans a trip to Israel to visit cultural sites and meet with government and business leaders as he tries to expand economic ties between Indiana and Israel.

Dates and details of the nine-day trip haven’t been announced. Pence’s office said he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials, as well as leaders of Israeli companies and potential investors.

Indiana commerce secretary Victor Smith describes Israel as “a global entrepreneurial hotspot,” with businesses looking to expand to the U.S.

Pence’s family will travel with him to celebrate Christmas in Jerusalem and tour several Christian holy sites. The governor’s office says his travel costs are being paid by the advocacy group Christians United for Israel.

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