German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to visit Israel on Sunday, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed.Merkel will meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and participate in a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
She and Bennett are expected to visit Yad Vashem. In addition, Merkel will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and join a roundtable at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
Merkel stepped down from her post in August after serving 16 years. Her trip comes shortly after a national election in Germany, in which she did not run, and her party came in second place. The Social Democratic Party was the largest, and its leader, Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is likely to be the next chancellor.
The chancellor had previously planned to pay a farewell visit to Israel at the end of August but postponed her trip due to the unfolding crisis following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Merkel has visited Israel several times as chancellor and has called Israel’s security one of her country’s core national interests.
“The Holocaust fills us with shame,” Merkel said before the Knesset in 2008. “I bow my head before the survivors, and I bow my head before you in tribute to the fact that you were able to survive.”