President Reuven Rivlin with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
President Reuven Rivlin with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Photo: Facebook
President Reuven Rivlin with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

U.S. Congress invites Rivlin to give farewell address

Bi-partisan offer to the president, whose term ends on July 9, came from the heads of the Senate and the House of Representatives; unclear if he will accept due to coronavirus restrictions; Rivlin currently on European trip in an effort to combat ICC probe

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 03.18.21 , 19:26
President Reuven Rivlin has been invited to address a joint session in the U.S. Congress, before his term as Israel's president comes to an end on July 9.
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  • Rivlin received the invitation from the heads of the Democratic and Republican parties at the Senate and House of Representatives. The probability of the visit going ahead remains in doubt due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is still raging in some U.S. states.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    President Reuven Rivlin with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
    President Reuven Rivlin with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
    President Reuven Rivlin with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
    (Photo: Facebook)
    "This has been under discussion for some time, but it all depends on the coronavirus restrictions," Rivlin's spokesman told Ynet.
    If Rivlin does visit Washington, he is expected to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with whom he appears to be friends, and President Joe Biden.
    Rivlin has received a number of similar invitations from other countries, including Romania, Bulgaria and Portugal, all inviting him for one last visit as Israel's president.
    President Reuven Rivlin and Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi arrive in Austria
    (Video: Itamar Eichner)
    Rivlin is currently on a diplomatic trip to some European countries together with Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, in an attempt to pursue the states not to support the International Criminal Court's investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian Territories.
    On Wednesday, Rivlin landed in Austria where he attended a Holocaust memorial ceremony in Vienna. He later took off for Germany’s capital of Berlin, escorted by an honorary fighter jet convoy provided by the Austrian government as a personal tribute to Rivlin.
    The president said that during his meetings with Austrian President Alexander von der Blanc and German Chancellor Sebastian Kurzwith, he heard nothing but praise for Israel's coronavirus vaccination drive and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ability to secure enough vaccines to inoculate the majority of the country in a space of weeks.
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    ראובן ריבלין פגישה עם נשיא אוסטריה אלכסנדר ואן דר בלן ב וינה
    ראובן ריבלין פגישה עם נשיא אוסטריה אלכסנדר ואן דר בלן ב וינה
    President Reuven Rivlin with with Austrian President Alexander von der Blanc
    (Photo: AFP)
    Rivlin added that during his meetings with his EU counterparts, he made it clear that Israel would not interfere in any way with the upcoming elections in the Palestinian Authority, despite the threat posed by the Hamas terror group winning the vote in Ramallah.
    "We will not interfere in [PA’s] election, just as we did not intervene in the previous elections,” said Rivlin.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    נשיא המדינה ראובן ריבלין ונשיא אוסטריה אלכסנדר ון דר בלן   בטקס לזכר קורבנות השואה בוינה
    נשיא המדינה ראובן ריבלין ונשיא אוסטריה אלכסנדר ון דר בלן   בטקס לזכר קורבנות השואה בוינה
    Rivlin during the Holocaust remembrance ceremony in Vienna
    (Photo: GPO)
    During the meetings, both Rivlin and Kochavi also discussed a myriad of regional and international issues, including the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program.
    Rivlin arrived in France on Thursday, where he met with French President Emmanuel Macron.
    Rivlin said he has already prepared for the end of his term as president. “I will be the tenth former president, and the young man that I am, I will have to consult with my grandchildren regarding my future," said Rivlin.
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