The US President and the Israeli Prime Minister discussed regional issues, including Iran and the recent diplomatic normalization agreements.
Joe Biden had his first official phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House confirmed on Wednesday after questions arose over whether the US president was trying to send a message to the Israeli prime minister by delaying the call .
Biden told reporters at the White House swimming pool that he had a good conversation with Netanyahu on Wednesday.
It was Bidens’ first appeal to a Middle Eastern leader since taking office on January 20, signaling the importance of the US-Israel relationship, which has been strong for decades but has been significantly strengthened by the former President Donald Trump, a staunch ally of Netanyahu.
Biden and Netanyahu discussed the importance of continuing close consultations on regional security issues, including Iran, the White House said in a statement about the call.
The president stressed the American support for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and the countries of the Arab and Muslim world. He stressed the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians.
PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 17, 2021
Biden has spoken to a number of world leaders since becoming president, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Aaron David Miller, senior researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the US president intends to send a message by arranging his appeal with Netanyahu just a month after taking office.
The message is this: I am pro-Israel, an incredibly pro-Israel president but not necessarily pro-Netanyahu, Miller told Al Jazeera.
Biden was not going to borrow a page from the Trumps playbook and give Netanyahu a warm hug weeks before the Israeli election, he said, referring to the legislative polls in Israel to be held on March 23.
Netanyahus’ office, however, welcomed the call, saying the conversation was very warm and friendly and continued for about an hour.
The two leaders noted their long-standing personal relationship and said they would work together to continue to strengthen the steadfast alliance between Israel and the United States, he said.
A starting point between Biden and Netanyahu is the stated intention of the new administrations to resuscitate the Iran nuclear deal, which Netanyahu strongly opposed and from which Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
Biden has pledged to join the deal if Iran reverts to complying with restrictions on its uranium enrichment capabilities.
Biden and Netanyahu discussed the future advancement of the peace accords, the Iranian threat and regional challenges, and agreed to continue their dialogue, according to the statement from Netanyahus’ office.
As Biden vowed to restore U.S. diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and restore U.S. aid to the Palestinians, his administration signaled its refusal to overturn some of the most controversial policies of Trump over conflict.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the Biden administration will not seek to reverse Trump’s move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, a move denounced by Palestinians and international observers.
Biden also gave his broad support to the so-called diplomatic normalization accords of the Abrahamic Accords brokered by the Trump administration between Israel and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco which the Palestinians rejected as a coup. dagger in the back.
The Bidens administration, however, has said it will review the commitments the United States has made under the agreements.
Meanwhile, Netanyahus’ office said in its statement that Biden praised the Israeli prime minister on his efforts to fight the coronavirus and said the two had exchanged ideas on ways to deal with the pandemic.
Israel has come under fire for not sharing its stockpile of COVID-19 vaccines with Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This week, the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of blocking a shipment of vaccines intended for health workers in Gaza. The cargo reached the stranded Palestinian territory on Wednesday.
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