Biden phones new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and offers “unwavering commitment” to Israel’s security
- Biden, who is traveling to Europe, praised Bennett on a phone call
- He also congratulated Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on the power-sharing deal.
- “Israel doesn’t have a better friend than the United States,” Biden said
- Biden spoke to Benjamin Netanyahu on several occasions during the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas last month
US President Joe Biden on Sunday offered new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett his “warm congratulations” in telephone interviews, the White House said, after an alliance of parties toppled Benjamin Netanyahu and formed a new government.
“I congratulate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, as well as all members of the new Israeli cabinet,” Biden said in a statement issued shortly before the call.
“Israel has no better friend than the United States.
“Israel has no better friend than the United States”: President Joe Biden praises new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
Bennett responded shortly after on Twitter, saying, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman! I look forward to working with you to strengthen the ties between our two nations.
In telephone interviews, Biden “underscored his decades of unwavering support for the US-Israel relationship and his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” the White House said.
“The president also indicated that his administration intends to work closely with the Israeli government on efforts to advance peace, security and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. added.
“The leaders agreed that they and their teams would consult closely on all matters relating to regional security, including Iran,” the White House noted.
Bennett (right) will serve as prime minister until September 2023 before handing power to Yair Lapid (left), the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, for two more years as part of a power-sharing deal.
Yair Lapid is set to become prime minister in 2023 under a power-sharing deal. Pictured: Lapid arrives for the parliamentary meeting on Sunday before the vote.
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Bennett said he considers Biden “a great friend of the State of Israel,” according to a reading from his team.
Right-wing Jewish nationalist and former tech millionaire, Bennett takes the helm of an Israeli government made up of an eight-party coalition, united only in their common contempt for right-wing hawk Netanyahu.
In a speech in the Knesset ahead of the vote, Bennett, 49, pledged that the new government, a coalition of ideologically divergent parties, “represents all of Israel.”
Meanwhile, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin congratulated Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who will remain in his post in the new government.
Austin said he “looks forward to continued important cooperation and dialogue with Minister Gantz to deepen the US-Israel strategic partnership,” adding: “The US commitment to Israel’s security remains unwavering. “.
Biden did not speak to Netanyahu for nearly a month after his own inauguration on January 20.