Israeli PM escaping domestic woes to meet Pompeo in Lisbon

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Israel, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Abir Sultan/Po...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Israel, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Abir Sultan/Po...

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to Portugal for a meeting with his close ally, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

It will be their first encounter since Pompeo announced last month that the U.S. does not consider Israeli West Bank settlements illegal under international law.

It’ also the latest in a string of diplomatic gifts to Netanyahu by the Trump administration as the Israeli leader fights for his political survival in the wake of two inconclusive elections and a damning corruption indictment.

Netanyahu’s back is against the wall in Israel but abroad, he will be seeking to project a stately image of business as usual and secure further American commitments for whatever time he has left in office.

Netanyahu was to leave Israel around midday on Wednesday.