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Biden in the Middle East: Confirming Good US-Israel Relations

Nearly 50 years after his first visit as the newly elected Senator in 1973, Joe Biden returned to Israel for the first time as President of the United States. Several topics are on the agenda with Prime Minister Lapid and President Herzog, before meeting Friday in Bethlehem with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and then stopping in Saudi Arabia.

Fausta Speranza – Vatican City

At Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, where he arrived yesterday, US President Joe Biden made his first appearance by saying that relations between Israel and the United States are “deeper and stronger than ever.” “Indissoluble” was the adjective chosen by Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who then stated that at the center of the agenda was “the need to renew a strong global alliance that halts Iran’s nuclear programme.” As US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has made clear, the Biden administration continues to believe that diplomatic efforts are the best way to get Tehran to abide by the rules, while at the same time Washington will not hesitate to continue using the tool. Economic sanctions to put pressure on Iran. Joe Biden said the United States would be willing to take more tough measures against Iran in order to prevent the potential military use of nuclear energy, but that it would be a “last resort.”

The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue

Sullivan himself told reporters that on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, President Biden said he was “happy” with the recent phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). “It is a positive step after the lack of contact between the Israeli prime minister and Abu Mazen for years,” he stressed. Biden emphasized that the United States remains committed to Israel’s security and greater integration in the region, particularly by invoking “a partnership around the world’s most advanced defense systems.” But he also reiterated his belief that a two-state solution remains “the best way to secure a future of freedom, prosperity and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians.”

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Visit Yad Vashem

The first day of the President of the United States in the Middle East ended at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. After commemorating the permanent flame in memory of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis and laying a wreath, Biden, accompanied by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, spent considerable time with two Holocaust survivors, Rina Quint and Gisele Sekowicz. “Never forget,” the president wrote in his message to the monument, emphasizing that “hate is not defeated, it conceals itself.”

Stages of the journey to the Middle East

Today’s talks with Lapid and with Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog. Then, on Friday, Biden will be in Bethlehem to meet Mahmoud Abbas before heading to Saudi Arabia.

Earl Warner

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