President Barack Obama is to visit Israel this spring at the heart of a wider tour of the Middle East.
"The start of the president's second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Syria," White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. "Additional details about the trip - including the dates of travel - will be released at a later time."
"The U.S.-Israel relationship is stronger than ever, and today's announcement about President Obama's visit to Israel this spring further reaffirms this unbreakable bond between our two nations," Ambassador Michael Oren wrote on his Facebook page.
The trip will be Obama's first to Israel as US president; he visited in 2008 as a candidate.
Obama will be making "a working visit" and will not be accompanied by members of his family. An upcoming visit by newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry will also prepare the ground for Obama's arrival.
US President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres during the latter's visit to the US. (Photo: GPO)