May 13, 2020 / 6:50 AM / 14 days ago

U.S. envoy misses Pompeo's arrival in Israel over illness

(Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to Israel did not attend Wednesday’s arrival of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Middle East nation as he was feeling unwell and had been advised to keep away, the U.S. State Department said.

Pompeo landed at Ben Gurion Airport for a one-day visit during which he will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his designated coalition partner, Benny Gantz.

The envoy, David Friedman, tested negative for the coronavirus, a State Department spokeswoman said.

Friedman experienced “mild upper respiratory symptoms” and was therefore asked by medical staff to avoid proximity to Pompeo, media added, quoting a statement from the U.S. embassy in Israel.

Topics to feature in talks will be the virus pandemic outbreak and regional tensions with Iran, Pompeo said on Twitter after his arrival.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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