President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday, and during their first call since Biden’s inauguration, they discussed everything from Iran to the coronavirus pandemic.
The phone call lasted for about an hour, and the White House readout states that Biden “underscored the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians,” and shared his support of “the recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab world.”
The Israeli readout described the conversation as “very warm and friendly,” with both leaders vowing to “continue strengthening the steadfast alliance” between the United States and Israel. They also discussed “the Iranian threat and regional challenges,” the readout said. Biden is considering reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, and Israel has said it wants to be more involved in future talks, since it is more at risk of an attack due to geography.
Biden has been in office for almost a month, and there is talk in Israel that he slighted Netanyahu by not calling him right away, Politico reports. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week it wasn’t “an intentional diss,” as Biden has known Netanyahu for “some time” and they are working on “a range of issues” that have “a mutual commitment.” Biden has “not called every single global leader yet,” Psaki added, and “he is eager to do that in the weeks ahead.”