Huckabee meets with Netanyahu in advance of U.S. visit

(CNN)In the run up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress next month, add another 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls to list going out of his way to stand with the Israeli leader.

Republican former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee visited Israel this week and met with Netanyahu, according to a statement from the 2008 presidential hopeful's office out Friday.
"Gov. Huckabee encouraged [Netanyahu] regarding his upcoming speech to Congress," said Huckabee's Communications Director Alice Stewart in a statement to CNN, adding that the Governor assured the Prime Minister that the controversy surrounding his address, "was not directed toward him or the State of Israel."
Huckabee's meeting with Netanyahu comes as many on Capitol Hill are still debating the politics of the Prime Minister's visit, with a handful of Democrats and at least three U.S. Senators -- Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) -- saying they will skip the address.
    Huckabee also met with members of Israel's legislature -- the Knesset -- as well as military and intelligence leaders during his visit.
    The Prime Minister's address to Congress is still scheduled for March 3.