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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancels UN trip as reelection bid flounders


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nixed next week’s plan to address the UN General Assembly as his decade-long rule appears to be in jeopardy.

“Due to political circumstances, the prime minister is not traveling to UNGA,” an Israeli official reportedly told NBC News.

With 90% of the vote counted, Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party is in a tight race with with the centrist Blue and White Party, according to the Times of Israel, which reports the latter holds a narrow lead. Both Netanhahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz are courting support from the country’s minority parties.

Netanyahu, who was slated to speak to the General Assembly Sept. 26, was also expected to meet with President Trump during his visit. Trump tweeted Saturday that he was looking forward to visiting with the 69-year-old prime minister “after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month!”

Netanyahu served as Israel’s prime minister from 1996 to 1999, then returned to office in 2009.

Like Trump, he has been dogged by legal controversy as of late. Israel’s attorney general announced in February that he intends to indict Netanyahu for fraud, bribery and breach of trust, according to Israeli news agency Haaretz. A pre-indictment hearing is slated for Oct. 2.