Israeli PM to visit White House this month

Israeli PM to visit White House this month
2 min read
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will visit Washington on August 26 following an invitation from President Joe Biden
Naftali Bennett will visit Washington on August 26 [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will meet with President Joe Biden in the White House on August 26, officials said Wednesday.

The talks - Bennett's first diplomatic trip since taking office - are expected to focus on Iran's nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Prime Minister Bennett's visit will strengthen the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel, reflect the deep ties between our governments and our people, and underscore the United States' unwavering commitment to Israel's security," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

The close US-Israeli relationship hit a rocky patch when Biden replaced Donald Trump in January. The formation of a new government under Bennett, following the downfall of key Trump ally Benjamin Netanyahu, opened the door to a reset.

However, tensions remain, especially over Biden's desire to revive a deal with Iran on its nuclear ambitions.

Psaki said the two leaders would "discuss critical issues related to regional and global security, including Iran."

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"The visit will also be an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians and the importance of working towards a more peaceful and secure future for the region," she added.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited Biden in June in advance of the Bennett trip. He said he had been "very much satisfied" by Biden's determination to prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear power.

This visit will reaffirm the "deep" relationship between the two nations, Bennett's office said in a statement.

"The prime minister and the US president will discuss a series of diplomatic, economic and security issues, especially the Iranian nuclear issue," the office said.