According to AFP on February 17, U.S. President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu finally held their first telephone talks since the change of Washington government on the 17th, thus easing the possible tension between them.
The report said that despite Israel’s special relationship with the United States, Netanyahu was one of the last foreign leaders to receive a call from Biden.
However, both sides stressed their close relationship during the call.
Biden told reporters that it was a “very good conversation”.
The White House said Biden “supported” the series of agreements brokered by his predecessor Trump on the normalization of Israeli-Arab relations.
The White House said Biden “firms his personal and historically strong commitment to Israel’s security and conveys his willingness to strengthen all aspects of the US-Israel partnership, including strong defense cooperation between the two sides”.
Netanyahu’s media adviser said in a statement that the talks were “very warm and friendly” and lasted about an hour.
The statement also said that “the two leaders mentioned their long-standing personal relationship” and agreed to strengthen the alliance between the two countries.
The Israeli Prime Minister and the President of the United States reportedly “discussed the future progress of the peace agreement, the Iranian threat and regional challenges, and agreed to continue the dialogue”.
It is widely believed that placing Netanyahu at the bottom of the list is a way for Biden to signal that the United States and the Middle East will restart after the Trump era.
According to the report, Trump often boasts that he is the most “pro-Israel” president in American history.
He closely followed Netanyahu’s priorities, including the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to disputed Jerusalem, a move that many other countries regarded as provocations.
Biden also deliberately cools down Trump’s close personal relationship with Saudi de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Democrat hasn’t called the Saudis yet, saying that when he calls, it’s also King Salman himself.
The report pointed out that this indifference angered Netanyahu’s Likud group.
Danny Danon, head of global affairs at Likud Group, recently tweeted a list of talks Biden to world leaders and asked, “Is it time to call the leader of Israel, America’s closest ally?”
Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused the Biden administration of “snud” Israel.