Israel’s special bond with the United States will only grow stronger over the next 75 years, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said upon landing in Israel with a bi-partisan delegation of 19 members of Congress on Sunday afternoon.
McCarthy who has visited Israel many times and is known as a strong supporter of the Jewish state is scheduled to address the Knesset’s plenum on Monday, making him only the second House Speaker to do so.
“On behalf of our entire delegation, it is an honor to join you in Jerusalem to celebrate Israel’s independence and to reaffirm the special bond between our nations," McCarthy said upon his arrival.
"I have visited Israel more times than any other country, and today, I come for the first time as Speaker of the House of Representatives. The next 75 years of our important partnership promises to be even stronger than the first 75," he added.
This is McCarthy’s first foreign trip abroad since he became speaker in January of this year.
His visit is billed as a celebration of US-Israel ties over the last 75 years and as an important step in laying the foundation of the next 75 years in the relationship between the two countries.
Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana who had invited him to Israel, greeted him and his delegation at the airport.
“Mr. Chairman, it is a great privilege for me to welcome you to Israel,” Ohana said.
“Thank you for accepting my invitation and choosing the Knesset to be the first parliament in the world to visit. I greatly appreciate the fact that you came at the head of an important bipartisan delegation.
“I look forward to the joint work between us that will strengthen and fortify the connection between our two parliaments,” Ohana said.
What are McCarthy's plans in Israel?
While in Israel, he will also meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will lay a wreath at Yad Vashem the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
His delegation arrived in Israel from Jordan, where McCarthy met with King Abdullah.