Rubio to Meet With Netanyahu During Middle East Trip

Monday, 18 Feb 2013 10:51 AM

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Cementing his role as a major contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.

Rubio, who is on his second visit to Israel since being elected to the Senate in 2010, is due to meet Netanyahu on Wednesday, he reported on his website.

He is also due to meet  Israeli President Shimon Peres, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad during his Middle East trip.

“America’s friendship with Israel is a truly special one, and we must continue to do all we can to support this beacon of democracy, religious freedom and free enterprise in the heart of an unstable region,” Rubio wrote on his website.

“As Iran continues its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, we must continue to apply pressure through every possible means in order to prevent a nuclear Iran.”

He also said he wants to discuss the importance of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and “how we can maintain it during this time of great uncertainty and tumult in Egypt,” as well as learn more about the Syrian uprising.

Rubio’s visit to the region — which he says is an official trip in his role as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — follows another high-profile trip there by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, considered a likely challenger for the 2016 nomination.

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