Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Biden cancels Colorado visit, fueling speculation of Israel trip

Biden cancels Colorado visit, fueling speculation of Israel trip
October 16, 2023 Web Desk

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Joe Biden abruptly cancelled plans for a trip Monday to Colorado, the White House announced, fueling speculation that he will soon go to Israel in a show of support as it wages war against Hamas.

Biden has been invited to Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN, adding that he had no travel plans to announce for now. Biden, 80, had been due to travel to Colorado to visit a wind turbine manufacturing plant where he was to tout the economic revival and pro-environmental messages at the core of his 2024 reelection campaign.

The trip, canceled at the last minute, will be rescheduled, the White House said. Biden will instead stay in Washington to attend national security meetings, the White House said in a short statement, as several media outlets report he might travel to Israel this week.

Biden will "stay focused on what's going on between Israel and Hamas," Kirby said. Several news outlets including Axios and CNN have reported that US and Israeli officials are discussing a possible Biden trip to Israel.

Biden has repeatedly pledged strong support for close US ally Israel as it retaliates for the October 6 Hamas attack from Gaza that killed hundreds of Israelis, most of them civilians. Biden visited another war zone -- Ukraine -- in a high risk trip in February that was prepared in total secrecy. He last visited Israel in July 2022.