Biden to sign joint statement with Israel’s Lapid to expand security ties and counter Iran

By on July 14, 2022 0
The new statement includes “a commitment never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” said an official presenting Biden’s timeline. It comes as Biden faces growing pressure to present a comprehensive plan to constrain Iran amid rising tensions. Biden has been pushing to revive the Iran nuclear deal from which former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States in 2018, but hopes of rejoining the deal appear to be fading.
The statement will express support for the Abraham Accords, one of Trump’s legacy achievements that normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries and continued the expansion of growing Arab-Israeli security and economic ties. It will also encompass expanding Israel’s integration in the region — a major theme of Biden’s four-day trip to the Middle East.

He will outline common concerns of both nations, including food security as well as support for Ukraine’s sovereignty as Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the country continues.

While meeting with Lapid, officials say the president should reiterate US ‘ironclad’ support for Israel’s security and discuss seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict .

Shortly after landing in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the President reiterated his support for a two-state solution, saying, “It remains, in my view, the best way to secure the future of an equal measure of freedom, prosperity and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians alike. »

But perhaps just as important were the words “although I know it’s not in the short term,” in reference to the two-state solution. Such sentiment takes the pressure off Israeli leaders, notably Lapid, who will face voters in another general election in November.

The United States and Israel will launch a new high-level strategic dialogue on technology on Thursday, which officials say is designed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries on pandemic preparedness, climate technology, artificial technology and d other trusted tech ecosystems.

The president will participate in the first virtual meeting of the leaders of the “I2U2” group, which also includes Israel, India and the United Arab Emirates. Thursday’s meeting will focus on food security as well as promoting clean energy, officials said. The United States and the United Arab Emirates will announce that they are investing $2 billion in agricultural parks in India to address the food security crisis.

Biden will also meet with President Isaac Herzog of Israel at his residence and discuss Herzog’s diplomatic efforts to further integrate Israel into the region, officials said.

The president will then meet former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two leaders enjoy a relationship that spans nearly four decades and began when Biden was a junior senator. All the same, it has not always been easy between the two men. Netanyahu made no secret of his contempt for former President Barack Obama — the sentiment, obviously, was mutual — and Biden was deeply embarrassed when a visit to Israel as vice president in 2010 coincided with a Israeli government announcement approving plans for new settlement houses.

“They, of course, go back many years and know each other well. And we are clear during this visit that the relationship between the United States and Israel is about countries, our strategic partnership as two states – not leaders. individuals,” one official said.

Biden will also meet with American athletes participating in the Maccabiah Games, a Jewish-Israeli international multi-sport event, and attend part of the opening ceremonies.