- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2020

Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the White House next week, the Trump administration said Thursday.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Mr. Netanyahu will be accompanied on Tuesday by Benjamin Gantz, the chairman of the Blue and White Party.

“The United States and Israel are strong partners, and the prime minister’s visit is an opportunity to discuss our shared regional and national security interests,” Ms. Grisham said.

Mr. Netanyahu was indicted on charges of breach of trust, bribery and fraud in November, forcing him to resign from ministry positions.

Still, Mr. Netanyahu, who’s been prime minister since 2009, has forged a close relationship with President Trump, who’s positioned himself as staunchly pro-Israel.

Vice President Mike Pence extended the White House invitation in person.

Speaking in Jerusalem, Mr. Pence on Thursday said Mr. Trump asked him to invite Mr. Netanyahu to Washington to discuss “regional issues, as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land.”

Mr. Netanyahu said he would “gladly accept.”

“I think that the president is seeking to give Israel the peace and security it deserves,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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