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Romney seeks a fresh start in Israel

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. - Photo by AFP
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. - Photo by AFP

JERUSALEM: US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign left a troubled visit to London behind him on Saturday and looked to rebound in Israel, whose ties with the United States have been a familiar theme during his election bid.

Romney arrived late on Saturday on the second leg of a foreign trip aimed at bolstering his foreign-policy credentials in his race to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 election.

The trip has been beset with difficulties from the start, when he raised British hackles by questioning whether London was ready for the Summer Olympics, a statement he was forced to walk back after a rebuke from Prime Minister David Cameron.

The former Massachusetts governor hoped to find fairer sailing winds in Israel by returning to a familiar issue in his campaign, pledging stronger ties between the United States and Israel if he is elected.

He and conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are old friends, and they will meet on Sunday before Romney gives a speech.

His visit coincides with a Jewish fast day that commemorates tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people.

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