US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to visit the Golan Heights and an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank next week in what would be an unprecedented move.
Both visits would be a first for a US secretary of state, the Axios news site reported Thursday.
The West Bank and Golan Heights have been treated as occupied territory by all US administrations since 1967.
Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, a move that was not recognized internationally. In March 2019, however, the Trump administration recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
The top diplomat will land in Israel on Wednesday and is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials, according to Axios.
In addition, Pompeo and his wife “are expected to make a private visit to Qasr Al-Yahud — a Christian baptism site in the Jordan River near Jericho in the West Bank,” said the report.
The trip aims to highlight the Trump administration’s policy shifts on Israel and “for Pompeo, it also has domestic political significance ahead of a possible presidential run in 2024,” it added.
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