President Biden on Wednesday spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — nearly one month after he took office.
Biden and Netanyahu reportedly spoke for about an hour and Israel’s government released a photo of a smiling prime minister taking the call.
Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that it was a “good conversation,” but he did not elaborate.
A White House readout says 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.”
The White House said the leaders “discussed the importance of continued close consultation on regional security issues, including Iran.”
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,” according to the readout.
An Israeli release posted to Twitter said in Hebrew: “The conversation was very friendly and warm and lasted about an hour. The two leaders noted their long-standing personal connection and said they would work together to further strengthen the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.”
At recent press briefings, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeatedly fended off questions about why Biden hadn’t yet reached out to the close US ally.
Some increasingly influential members of the Democratic Party argue for a more pro-Palestinian stance, notably including the leftist “Squad” of House members.
Before phoning Netanyahu, Biden spoke with the leaders of Canada, France, the UK, Germany, Russia, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia and India.