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Biden to visit Israel ‘in the coming months,’ White House says

President Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Oval Office on Aug. 27. (Evan Vucci/AP)
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President Biden has accepted an invitation to visit Israel and will do so “in the coming months,” the White House said in a readout of Biden’s Sunday morning call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The White House said the two have developed a “strong personal bond” since Bennett visited Washington in August. Then, Biden touted the “unshakable partnership” between the United States and Israel, despite several key differences, including Bennett’s opposition to the United States potentially rejoining a nuclear deal with Iran.

However, all that was mentioned of Iran in the White House readout of the call Sunday was that Biden and Bennett discussed “shared regional and global security challenges, including the threat posed by Iran and its proxies.”

“The President took note of ongoing efforts between Israeli and Palestinian officials to lower tensions and ensure a peaceful conclusion to the holy season of Ramadan,” the White House said. “He affirmed his unwavering support for Israel and its defense needs, and welcomed the historic $1 billion allocation to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system.” The Iron Dome is an air defense system designed to stop short-range rockets and artillery.

The two leaders also recommitted to the work of the U.S-Israel Strategic Consultative Group, headed by the national security advisers of both countries, the White House said.

There was no mention of Ukraine in the White House readout. Bennett last month traveled to Russia last month to meet with President Vladimir Putin and has kept in touch with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an effort to serve as an intermediary, which critics have called ineffective.

“I told him it was neither right nor constructive to meet in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus,” Zelensky said last month. “These are not points where understandings can be found to stop the war. Do I think Jerusalem can be such a point? I think so.”