Obama to make first trip to Israel as president
Obama to also visit West Bank, Jordan
President Barack Obama recently discussed an upcoming spring visit to Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed Tuesday in the daily press briefing.
While overseas, Obama will also visit the West Bank and Jordan "to continue his close work with Palestinian Authority officials and Jordanian officials," Carney added.
The trip to Israel would mark Obama's first visit as president. While Obama traveled to the country in 2008 during his presidential campaign, he did not visit Israel during his first term.
Carney added "additional details, including dates of travel, will be released at a later time."
The president discussed the visit while on the phone with Netanyahu on Jan. 28, shortly after the prime minister was re-elected for the third time in the country's elections last month.
"The start of the president's second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern including of course Iran and Syria," Carney said.
Obama campaign aides said last summer that the president would make a trip to Israel should he be re-elected.
Obama's not the first president to go to Israel during his second term. President George W. Bush went to the country in both January and May of 2008. Former President Ronald Reagan did not visit the U.S. ally at all during his two terms.
Meanwhile, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, both Democrats, visited the country during their first four years in office.
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