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Biden to Visit Israel Despite its Political Turmoil

Biden to Visit Israel Despite its Political Turmoil

Thursday, 23 June, 2022 - 06:45
US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Oval Office at the White House (Getty Images/AFP)

The US State Department confirmed that President Joe Biden is proceeding with his plans to visit Israel, despite the current political turmoil.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken promised his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that the United States would continue its support for Israel in light of growing concerns about Iran's nuclear program.

Blinken also addressed the dissolution of the Knesset, underscoring "our respect for democratic processes and reiterated our unwavering commitment to the strong US-Israel strategic relationship."

The Secretary emphasized the continuing close coordination on regional and global issues and noted that President Biden looks forward to his visit to Israel next month.

Earlier, Blinken spoke with Lapid after the decision to dissolve the Knesset, saying the visit to Israel is "an opportunity to emphasize the president's deep personal connection to Israel, to America's commitment to Israel's security, and to strengthening Israel in the region."

The US Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, confirmed that Biden would go through with the visit to Israel next month.

If the legislative process moves forward as expected, Lapid will be prime minister when Biden lands in Israel on July 13 for his first visit as president.

State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday, "The strength of our relationship does not depend on who sits in the Oval Office. It doesn't depend on who sits in the prime minister's chair in Israel."

The early elections could witness the return of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had tense relations with former US President Barack Obama when Biden was Vice President.

Before announcing the Knesset's disbandment, an Israeli official stated that Biden would meet in Israel with Bennett and Lapid, President Isaac Herzog, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

It is customary for US presidents to meet with the leader of the opposition as well, which means a possible meeting between Biden and Netanyahu, who have a long relationship of political differences.

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