Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is preparing to depart from his hotel in Washington for the White House across the street where he’ll hold his first meeting with US President Joe Biden at 10:30 a.m.
The meeting was originally scheduled for Thursday morning, but the deadly attack in Kabul forced the president to clear his schedule for the rest of the day.
Biden and Bennett will meet one-on-one in the Oval Office, and a brief press spray will take place when they finish. There will then be an expanded working meeting with staff.
Bennett is expected to highlight Israel’s concerns over Iran’s rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon and make the case for why the US should not return to the nuclear deal.
However, the meeting is not expected to go as long as it might have as the president’s attention is likely still on Afghanistan and the ongoing evacuation of Americans amid further threats of ISIS-K attacks.
The meeting delay means Bennett, who had been planning to leave Washington late Thursday, will instead have to spend the weekend in the US capital, leaving on Saturday night. Bennett is an Orthodox Jew and is religiously prohibited from traveling between sunset Friday and sunset Saturday. Secular Israeli leaders have also historically avoided traveling publicly on Shabbat.