Tel Aviv, Israel (CNN) - In the latest leg of what’s become a high stakes overseas tour, Mitt Romney arrived in Israel late Saturday night to address the issue of Iran – or, as one of his aides described it, “the biggest foreign policy challenge the world faces.”
“I think, above all, the Iran challenge is something that will be a topic of discussion with Israeli officials over the next day,” Romney adviser Lanhee Chen said in a briefing to reporters on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s charter flight to Israel.
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The former Massachusetts governor is scheduled to hold a lengthy series of meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Sunday, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The governor always enjoys seeing the prime minister,” Chen said.
Romney will deliver a major foreign policy address Sunday evening. But his advisers cautioned the likely GOP nominee plans to stick to his pledge to avoid any criticism of President Barack Obama, who he is trying to unseat, while he’s on foreign soil.
He will also hold a fundraiser in Israel, which a campaign aide said Saturday that reporters will not be allowed to cover. That decision is a change in practice from an agreement the campaign and media outlets, including CNN, reached with the campaign last spring.
Aides to the candidate briefly taped up an Israeli flag on board the plane before its departure from Britain on Saturday, then lowered it as reporters began taking photographs.
Romney’s advisers had little to say about the uproar that erupted in Britain earlier in the week, when the candidate appeared to question London’s readiness to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
“Different folks have lots of different opinions about what happened,” Chen told reporters. He declined to comment on a report in the New York Times, which said an unnamed adviser blamed the mishap on “jet lag.”
Away from the Olympics controversy, Romney’s advisers said the GOP contender’s biggest takeaway from his visit with British officials is the U.K.’s growing worries about the ailing European economy.
“The concern about the European economy is very real,” Chen said.
Romney was accompanied on his journey to Israel by his wife and son, Josh, along with a small group of advisers.
The candidate did not address reporters on the five-hour flight from Britain to Tel Aviv.
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