Mitt Romney Planning Summer Visit to Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney plans to visit Israel this summer, the New York Times reported Monday.

"He's a strong friend of Israel and we'll be happy to meet with him," Ron Dermer, senior advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Times.

"We value strong bipartisan support for Israel and we're sure it will only deepen that," Dermer said.

Romney has been critical of Obama's policies toward the Jewish state, accusing him of throwing Israel "under the bus."

"I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite," Romney said in June when asked about Israel.

The two-day visit will take him away from the campaign trail during a crucial period of his general election fight against President Obama.

But Romney hopes it will help him gain support of Jewish voters, evangelicals, and conservatives.

It could also help boost his foreign affairs credentials.

Details of the trip have yet to be disclosed, but Dermer said he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior government officials, including President Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem during his two-day visit.

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