World Bulletin / News Desk
President Barack Obama will sign a bill to strengthen U.S.-Israeli military cooperation on Friday on the eve of a visit to Israel by his Republican presidential challenger, Mitt Romney.
The new bill calls for enhanced cooperation with Israel - a major beneficiary of military aid - on missile defense and intelligence, and increased access to advanced weapons.
Congress passed the legislation, the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, with broad support from Obama's Democrats and Republicans last week.
"The bill deepens our security cooperation with Israel by expanding our military assistance and providing Israel with access to additional equipment," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said on Thursday.
Romney hopes his trip to Israel will resonate with Jewish voters at home. He will arrive there fromLondon on Saturday and plans to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a strained relationship with Obama.