President Joe Biden had a lengthy call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, the first time Biden has actually spoken to a Middle East leader as president.
” The conversation was hot and friendly and continued for roughly one hour,” Netanyahu said in a statement that was the first sign that the call had actually occurred.
Netanyahu shared that declaration in a set of tweets written in Hebrew, together with an image of the smiling prime minister holding a phone to his ear.
The White Home, in a readout released later Wednesday, said that Biden throughout the call “verified his individual history of unfaltering dedication to Israel’s security and communicated his intent to strengthen all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership, including our strong defense cooperation.”
” The leaders went over the importance of continued close assessment on regional security issues, consisting of Iran,” the readout stated.
” The President stressed U.S. assistance for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab and Muslim world. He highlighted the value of working to advance peace throughout the area, consisting of in between Israelis and Palestinians,” it included.
” Together, they affirmed their shared interest in continued strategic cooperation to challenge the numerous obstacles facing the area,” the readout stated.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Netanyahu would be the very first Middle East leader Biden would consult with as president.
The call signals that the new U.S. administration aims to preserve the close ties to Israel that were strengthened during Donald Trump’s presidency.
Netanyahu’s declaration said that he and Biden “noted their longstanding personal connection and said that they would work together to continue enhancing the unfaltering alliance in between Israel and the U.S.”
” President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu talked about the future improvement of the peace treaty, the Iranian danger and regional challenges, and accepted continue their dialogue.”
Biden likewise “commended Prime Minister Netanyahu on his management in the battle against the coronavirus,” Netanyahu’s declaration said, including that “the 2 exchanged concepts on ways to handle the pandemic.”
The call with Netanyahu came a day after Psaki stated that the U.S. strategies to “recalibrate” its relationship with Saudi Arabia, a hugely prominent power in the region.
In early 2020, then-candidate Biden had vowed to take a harder stance on the Islamic kingdom than Trump, who had carefully worked together with Saudi leaders and hesitated to criticize the kingdom over its human rights offenses.
It’s yet unclear how Netanyahu’s relationship with Biden will compare to his accept of Trump. The Israeli leader had actually praised Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, which Biden has said he wants to rejoin.
The Biden administration has also taken actions towards bring back relations with Palestinians after they cut ties with Israel and the U.S. under Trump.
– CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this post