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Tensions high, Joe Biden invites Israel’s new PM to Washington

Prime News, International (Washington), August 19:- President Joe Biden has invited Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to Washington next week to discuss Iran as well as Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians, the White House said Wednesday.

The long-expected visit with Israel’s new prime minister will take place on August 26 amid tensions with the Islamic Republic and Israel’s fragile truce with militant Hamas rulers in Gaza following an 11-day war in May.

The meeting will “underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” according to the statement from presidential spokeswoman Jen Psaki. The leaders, she said, “will discuss critical issues related to regional and global security, including Iran.”

Bennett, meanwhile, described the upcoming meeting as important. His office said Bennett and Biden “will discuss a series of diplomatic, economic and security issues, especially the Iranian nuclear program.”

The Israeli leader made no mention of the cease-fire efforts with Hamas- even as an Egyptian mediator was in the country- or pledges by the U.S. and Israel to bolster Hamas’ rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The meeting next week will be the first between the American and Israeli leader- and Bennett’s first diplomatic trip as prime minister- at a sensitive time for the security of the Middle East. Politically, both men want to show a steady hand at the helm of their respective governments in the wake of the Israel-Gaza war and the collapse of Afghanistan’s government on Biden’s watch.

Both nations want to put the brakes on Iran’s conduct in the region and on its nuclear program. But they diverge on the key question of reinstating the 2015 nuclear accord. Former President Donald Trump pulled America out of that agreement in 2018.

Biden campaigned on restoring the deal, with changes to address Iran’s conduct. Bennett and his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, staunchly oppose the accord and have vowed that Israel will act against Iran on its own if need be. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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