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Florida governor visits Israel

Florida’s governor traveled to Israel to strengthen his state’s ties and reportedly provide him some national exposure. Charlie Crist, a Republican, will meet with Israeli business and political leaders during his five-day trip.The Orlando Sentinel reported that the trip this week may also help Crist bolster his security credentials with an eye toward becoming a running mate on a presidential ticket.Crist is traveling with several South Florida business executives and elected officials, as well as Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler. Crist promised to make the trip during his January inaugural speech. Wexler, who is Jewish, befriended Crist when they served together in the state Senate and organized much of the schedule.”Israel is such a great trading partner with the state of Florida and America,” Crist said Tuesday in Jerusalem after meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.The governor also is expected to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli business executives in addition to touring Jerusalem’s Old City and Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum.