Did Benjamin Netanyahu visit Afghanistan or did he get tripped up by a rhyme?

Netanyahu said he visited Afghanistan. He meant to say he visited Azerbaijan.

March 4, 2019 21:54
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a campaign speech on March 4, 2019.

Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a campaign speech on March 4, 2019.. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)


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Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make a surprise visit to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan?

He said as much on Monday night before correcting the record immediately after a speech on Monday night.

In a speech unveiling the Likud party's candidates for April's elections, Netanyahu rattled off a list of countries he has visited as prime minister, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Tucked away was Afghanistan.

"When I meet with my friend [US] President [Donald] Trump when I meet with my friend [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, when I meet with world leaders in Beijing and Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and New Delhi, Chad and Oman, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, Australia and Singapore, I am proud to represent you and All citizens of the State of Israel," Netanyahu said.

He later clarified he was referring to Azerbaijan, and jokingly wrote "who knows? Maybe in the next term," in a clarification post on Twitter. The prime minister visited Baku in December, 2016.

Baku, located on the Caspian Sea, lies nearly 1,200 miles from the Afghani capital of Kabul. A direct flight to Afghanistan from Ben Gurion International airport would be about two hours longer than a flight to Azerbaijan, according to two online flight-time calculators.

Netanyahu is set to meet Trump next month while in Washington for AIPAC's policy conference and  returned from Moscow late last week, where he warned against Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

He made a surprise visit to Oman in October, officially declared ties during a visit to Chad in January, hugged Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro at his inauguration in Rio in January, made a week-long visit to India in January, 2018 and visited Singapore and Australia in February, 2017.

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