Biden meets Netanyahu in New York, hints at White House invite - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Biden meets Netanyahu in New York, hints at White House invite

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By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

President Joe Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s general debate.

The meeting, which took place in the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan, is the first between the two leaders since Netanyahu returned to office last December.

For months, Biden snubbed the Israeli leader, in part over Jerusalem’s judicial reform plan, which the president argued must be passed with a broad consensus.

During their meeting, Biden hinted at plans to invite Netanyahu to the White House, an honor usually bestowed on newly-elected Israeli leaders, but which has been withheld from the premier since the formation of his latest government.

“I hope we will see each other in Washington by the end of the year,” Biden told Netanyahu.

After a press briefing, the two leaders held a closed-door meeting to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat, prospects for a peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Saudi demands for a parallel agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and ongoing efforts by the Israeli government to pass comprehensive judicial reform.

During his remarks to reporters prior to the meeting, Biden touted the planned economic corridor from India to Europe via the Middle East.

“I think it’s a big deal, and we’re working on a lot more together.”

The president also vowed that the U.S. will never permit Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons.

“Today, we’re going to discuss some of the hard issues. That is, upholding democratic values that lie at the heart of our partnership, including checks and balances in our systems, and preserving the path to a negotiated two-state solution, and ensuring that Iran never, never, acquires a nuclear weapon.”

Netanyahu defended his push for an overhaul of the judiciary, vowing that Israel will remain true to its “commitment to democracy.”

“Israel has an absolute commitment to democracy.”

The prime minister also expressed optimism regarding the prospects for expanding the Abraham Accords to include Saudi Arabia.

I believe that under your leadership, it is possible to reach an unprecedented agreement with Saudi Arabia,” Netanyahu told Biden. “I hope we can get some things settled today.”


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