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Rivlin prepares to talk substance at largely ceremonial Biden meeting

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President Reuven Rivlin will meet with US President Joe Biden on Monday in the first formal meeting between a senior Israeli official and the American commander-in-chief since he entered the White House in January.

The largely ceremonial meeting, which will take place in the Oval Office of the White House, is scheduled for around 11 p.m. Israel time, 4 p.m EST — after prime time in Israel, although upon its conclusion Rivlin will brief the press.

Rivlin’s seven-year term as president is due to end on July 7, and the White House said the visit “will honor the dedication he has shown to strengthening the friendship between the two countries over the course of many years.” But beyond rituals and handshakes, Rivlin intends to raise a range of substantive issues.

Before taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, Rivlin told reporters, “I am departing, for the last time as president and on behalf of the State of Israel, on a farewell visit to Israel’s closest ally and friend in the world — the United States of America.”

“On my visit I will meet President Joe Biden, a true friend of the State of Israel for many years, and I will thank him for his genuine concern for Israel’s security and its citizens,” he said.

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Prior to his trip, Rivlin held meetings with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to coordinate the message he will bring from the leaders of Israel’s new government to Washington.

During talks at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, Rivlin and Bennett discussed the positions to be........

© The Times of Israel

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