After Four Week Delay, Biden Finally Calls Netanyahu

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu (Debbie Hill / AFP / Getty)
Debbie Hill / AFP / Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally spoke on the phone with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, after nearly a month since the American president took office.

Netanyahu was the first leader in the Middle East to receive a call from Biden, but the 12th world leader overall, leading many to speculate the delayed call was a sign of things to come for Israel-U.S. ties.

Donald Trump, by contrast, called Netanyahu within two days of becoming president.

The conversation was “very friendly and warm and lasted about an hour,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“The two leaders noted their personal ties of many years and said they will work together to continue bolstering the strong alliance between Israel and the U.S.,” the readout outlined.
Biden later confirmed to reporters it was a “good conversation.”
A White House statement said Biden “affirmed his personal history of steadfast commitment to Israel’s security and conveyed his intent to strengthen all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership, including our strong defense cooperation.”
“Biden emphasized U.S. support for recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab and Muslim word,” and “underscored importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement added.
The two also spoke about “the Iranian threat and challenges of the region, agreeing to continue talks between them.”
The call came a day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a video conference with the European signatories of the Iran nuclear deal from the UK, France and Germany.
Iran has demanded that the U.S. lift sanctions before it is willing to enter negotiations for reentering the deal, while the U.S., for its part, has made it clear it would not lift sanctions before Tehran ceases its rogue activities including its uranium enrichment program.
The U.S. president also congratulated the Israeli prime minister over Israel’s turbo vaccination drive.

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