Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu became the first Middle East leader to speak to U.S. President Biden. According to the Times of Israel, the Prime Minister’s Office took the lead in issuing a statement on the 17th to announce the call between the two sides and posted a picture of Netanyahu smiling at his desk on social media.
The New York Times said that the call was made against the backdrop of obvious differences between the United States and Israel on the issue of the Iran nuclear agreement. Both sides’ statements were vaguely worded and did not provide details of the dialogue.
However, the call “finally ended the four-week silence between the two sides”.
The conversation was “very friendly and enthusiastic and lasted about an hour” and that the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, “the leaders of the two countries referred to their long-standing personal relationship and said they would work together to further strengthen the strong relationship between Israel and the United States.” In addition to bilateral relations and regional issues, the two sides also exchanged views on how to deal with the coronavirus epidemic.
However, the Times of Israel said that Biden only said in response to media inquiries that “we had a good dialogue”, but did not disclose more. In a statement issued later by the White House, Biden made Netanyahu clear about his previous “firm commitment” to Israel’s security, saying that he would continue to consolidate the partnership between the two countries in various fields, including defense cooperation.
The statement also said that the leaders of the two countries discussed the importance of continuing close consultations on regional security issues. Biden stressed the U.S. support for Israel’s recent normalization of relations with some Arab countries and the importance of efforts to promote peace throughout the region, including Israel and Palestine.
Reuters said that since he took office on the 20th of last month, Biden has talked to the leaders of many countries, and Netanyahu has been looking forward to answering the phone, but he has not waited.
Former Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, even listed some of the countries that had already spoken to Biden on social media last week, with a phone number that could be reached Netanyahu, urging Biden to act quickly: “Is it time to call the leader of Israel, America’s closest ally?”
According to Al Jazeera website, there is speculation that Biden is dissatisfied with Netanyahu’s close ties with former President Trump, who talked to Netanyahu just two days after taking office, and Biden’s silence may indicate that the close relationship between the two countries has gradually turned cold.
There are also analysts who believe that the Israeli election in March is coming, and Biden does not want to be thought to be in favor of Netanyahu’s campaign. However, the White House has always denied the claim of negligence of Netanyahu.