Gov. Scott Walker “absolutely” expects to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first visit to Israel next month, the Republican said as he prepared to depart for a western European trade mission.

The likely presidential candidate said in an interview Thursday that the Netanyahu meeting in mid-May is not yet confirmed, but that it’s his “hope and expectation” it will happen.

A spokeswoman for Walker’s political group, Our American Revival, said Walker’s schedule for Israel remained in flux.

Walker met with British Prime Minister David Cameron during a trade mission to London in February. Walker departs Friday for visits to Germany, France and Spain.

Walker originally planned for his Israel trip to be a taxpayer-funded trade mission, but he determined that was impossible because the “overwhelming majority” of those who wanted to meet with him in Israel had a political interest. His political arm is footing the bill.

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