Tel Aviv, MINA – US President Joe Biden arrived in Israel this afternoon, Wednesday, at the start of a three-stop tour of the Middle East, which also includes Bethlehem and Saudi Arabia, which is his first since assuming the US presidency, which will continue until July 16.
An official reception ceremony was held with the participation of the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and the alternative Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, MINA’s Contributor in Palestine reports.
US President Joe Biden said, in a speech during the reception, that “the US-Israel relationship is rooted generation after generation.”
Biden affirmed his country’s support for the Israeli “Iron Dome” system and the laser system in Israel, pointing out that the United States is committed to Israel’s security, and the relationship with it is stronger and deeper than it was in the past.
For his part, Israeli President Isaac Herzog stressed that US President Biden’s visit to Israel reflects the depth of bilateral relations, according to Israeli News Channel 12.
Herzog considered Biden’s visit to be “a visit of peace from Israel to Saudi Arabia.”
“Throughout your life, you have been a true friend and persistent supporter of the State of Israel and the people of Israel,” he said.
He considered that “the winds of peace are blowing from North Africa, passing through the Mediterranean, and even the Gulf.”
Biden will meet with Lapid, tomorrow, as well as with Herzog and Benjamin Netanyahu.
He will participate in the opening matches of “Macabia”, tomorrow evening.
On Friday, Biden will go to occupied Jerusalem, where he will visit a Palestinian hospital, and then he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.
After that, Biden will leave Israel for Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.
In the Palestinian context, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters who accompanied Biden on the plane that the White House wants a consulate in Jerusalem, but talks are still ongoing, and that Biden will not present a new initiative to resume negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
US officials stated that Biden’s visit, “the first to the region since he assumed the presidency,” focuses on fully integrating Israel into the region within the framework of regional alliances that Washington and Tel Aviv seek to form, and confronting what is described as the Iranian threat.
This comes while Israel has officially talked about establishing a joint air defense alliance in the Middle East to confront what it describes as Iranian threats.
On the last day of his visit, the US President will attend a summit that includes the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in addition to Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. (LKG/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)