Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's meeting with US President Joe Biden was postponed to Friday in light of the suicide bombings in Afghanistan that killed at least 12 US Marines and soldiers.
“The President’s bilateral meeting with H.E. Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, has been rescheduled for tomorrow,” the White House announced Thursday evening.
The bombing took place an hour before the leaders were set to meet for the first time in the White House. Israeli journalists, who had already gathered in the Brady Press Room, were asked to leave the White House.
The meeting, which was expected to take place on Thursday at 6 p.m., is now scheduled for Friday morning, according to Israeli media reports. However, a representative of the prime minister denied the report and said no new time had been set. The White House also denied the report.
Following the delay, Bennett and his delegation will remain in Washington until after Shabbat, likely departing on Saturday night or Sunday. Sunday’s cabinet meeting in Jerusalem was postponed.
Bennett’s visit to Washington was finalized days after the Afghanistan pullout crisis began. His staff and Biden administration officials said the timing was important due to developments on the Iranian nuclear front. However, the crisis in Kabul overshadowed the trip from its start on Tuesday.
Israeli media being sent back to our hotel! But Bennett staff insists meeting with Biden isn't canceled.— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) August 26, 2021
Two suicide bomb attacks were carried out by ISIS in Kabul at approximately 5 p.m., killing and injuring dozens of people including American Marines.