Biden Urges Israeli PM to Advance Peace with Palestinians in First Call

Photo: Phone Bank

Washington, MINA – The US President Joe Biden urged Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to “advance peace” in the region, including with the Palestinians, in their first telephone call on Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

The call came amid speculation of a rift between the leaders after Biden had not spoken with the Israeli prime minister since he took office Jan. 20, prompting Israel’s former UN envoy to publicly press the Biden administration for the call on Twitter.

During their conversation Biden “emphasized U.S. support for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab and Muslim world,” and “underscored the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians,” the White House said in a statement.

“The President 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,” it said. “Together, the leaders discussed the importance of continued close consultation on regional security issues, including Iran.”

Netanyahu is a staunch ally of Biden’s former political rival, Donald Trump, who left office last month after his electoral defeat in November’s national elections.

Asked about his call during remarks to reporters in the Oval Office, Biden said briefly it was “a good conversation.”

During Trump’s four-year term Netanyahu had worked at upending long-held pillars of the two-state solution to achieve peace with the Palestinians while Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and declared the contested city Israel’s capital.

Trump also issued an Israel-Palestinian peace plan that heavily favored Israel’s demands, carved up much of the West Bank, and left little territory for a future Palestinian state while maintaining all of Israel’s settlements, which are illegal under international law. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)