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Netanyahu Says to Hold Talks with Trump in US Next Week | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he will be meeting with US President Donald Trump in New York next week, although the White House did not confirm the meeting.

Netanyahu made the deceleration ahead of embarking on Sunday on a tour of Latin America.

At the end of the tour, the Israeli premier is set to travel to New York where he will address the United Nations General Assembly on September 19.

“From Mexico I will go to New York to speak at the United Nations General Assembly and there I will meet my friend, President Donald Trump,” Netanyahu said.

He added best wishes “to all our friends in the US to overcome these difficult hours (during Hurricane Irma).”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also set to address at the UN General Assembly but there has been no word of a possible meeting between him and Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said he was the first incumbent Israeli prime minister to visit South America and termed his visit as “historic”. The trip comes as Netanyahu is under investigation in two corruption cases.

He kicked off his Latin American trip in Argentina. He will also visit Colombia and Mexico before heading to New York. He will meet the presidents of the three countries as well as members of their Jewish communities.

The tour makes Netanyahu the first sitting Israeli premier to visit Latin America, in a trip that includes Argentina 25 years after the country’s embassy was bombed there.

The tour, which will see agreements boosting trade and cooperation with South American countries, is part of Israel’s move to broaden the scope of its diplomacy and trade to new regions, including parts of Asia and Africa.

He will also meet with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes while in Buenos Aires.

“We’re now developing ties with Latin America — it’s a huge market in a large bloc of important states,” he said at a Jewish New Year’s toast with Israeli diplomats on Wednesday.

The Argentina trip will have special significance, with Netanyahu attending memorial ceremonies for the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy and 1994 bombing of a Jewish center there.

The embassy bombing killed 29 people and wounded 200, with members of Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” blamed for the attack.

Eighty-five people were killed and 300 wounded in the bombing.

Argentine investigators accuse five former Iranian officials of ordering “Hezbollah” to carry out that bombing. Iran denies any involvement.