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Congressional Leaders Invite Netanyahu to Address Joint Meeting of Congress

Saturday, 01 June 2024 02:41 PM EDT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to speak to a joint session of Congress, Reuters reports.

The leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have invited Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress, House Speaker Mike Johnson announced on Friday, though the date of the speech has not been set.

The letter inviting Netanyahu was signed by Johnson, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

It was first reported by The Hill news website.

Johnson had said the Israeli leader would soon address a joint meeting of Congress, amid heightened tensions with President Joe Biden's administration over Netanyahu's handling of the war in Gaza.

The Republican speaker, a critic of the Democratic president's Israel policy, had said he would invite Netanyahu whether or not congressional Democratic leaders signed onto the letter.

Netanyahu, who has long aligned himself with U.S. Republicans, in March addressed members of the party in the Senate via a video link, nearly a week after Schumer gave a Senate speech branding the prime minister an obstacle to peace and urging new elections in Israel.

Addresses to joint meetings of Congress by foreign leaders are a rare honor generally reserved for the closest U.S. allies or major world figures. Netanyahu has already given three such addresses, most recently in 2015.

This speech would make Netanyahu the first foreign leader to address joint meetings of Congress four times. He is currently tied at three with Britain's wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; additional reporting by Jasper Ward; editing by Rami Ayyub and Jonathan Oatis)

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to speak to a joint session of Congress, Reuters reports.
congress, netanyahu
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Saturday, 01 June 2024 02:41 PM
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