Washington

Biden talks with Israel’s Netanyahu for first time as president


President Biden on Wednesday spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time since Mr. Biden was sworn into office last month.

Mr. Netanyahu announced via Twitter that the call had taken place, describing it as a “very friendly and warm” conversation that lasted about an hour.

“Israel is, of course, an ally,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week. “Israel is a country where we have an important strategic security relationship.”

The call with Mr. Netanyahu took place only after Mr. Biden spoke with leaders of other major U.S. allies like France, Canada, and Germany. It also took place after Mr. BIden spoke with more adversarial leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Mr. Netanyahu and former President Obama did not have the warmest relationship when Mr. Biden served as Mr. Obama’s vice president.

Israel is staunchly opposed to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that the Obama administration helped broker. Former President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in 2018.
The Biden administration says it’s interested in re-engaging Tehran on the deal.

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