İrem UZUN -TDO- President Joe Biden had a lengthy phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, the first time Biden has spoken to a Middle East leader as president. “The conversation was very warm and friendly and continued for approximately one hour,” Netanyahu said in a statement that was the first indication that the call had happened.
Biden and Netanyahu “discussed the importance of continued close consultation on regional security issues, including Iran”, the White House said in a statement about the call. “The President emphasized U.S. support for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab and Muslim world. He underscored the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians”. But the president did not specifically mention a two-state solution.
“Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu talked about the future advancement of the peace accords, the Iranian threat and regional challenges, and agreed to continue their dialogue,” according to the statement from Netanyahu’s media adviser. “Biden commended Prime Minister Netanyahu on his leadership in the fight against the coronavirus; the two exchanged ideas on ways to deal with the pandemic.”
On Friday, Biden is expected to lay out his foreign policy vision in more detail in a virtual speech to the Munich Security Conference, including the prospects of returning to the Iran nuclear deal. Israel opposed that agreement, and the issue is likely to be a rift between Netanyahu and the Biden administration, just as it did under Obama.