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Israel: Joe Biden congratulates Benjamin Netanyahu


They have known each other for decades, and the US President even speaks of a "friendship": Joe Biden leaves no doubt about his country's loyalty to the alliance, but he also has clear expectations of the Israeli prime minister's policies.

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Joe Biden

Photo: - / AFP

US President Joe Biden reaffirmed US support for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office.

"I look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been a friend of mine for decades," Biden said on Thursday.

As during his previous tenure, the United States would "continue to support the two-state solution and oppose policies that endanger its viability."

Political veteran Netanyahu returned to the post of Israeli prime minister on Thursday after a year and a half absence from power.

He leads the far right government in Israel's history.

His cabinet includes several far-right politicians, including as the new Minister for National Security Itamar Ben Gvir - a hardline advocate for the Palestinians and a declared admirer of the Jewish assassin Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994.

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Washington would oppose further settlements and "steps toward annexation" of the West Bank.

US officials said they hoped to persuade Netanyahu to show moderation by quickly convening a meeting with officials from Arab countries that recognize the Jewish state.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco normalized their relations with Israel in the so-called Abraham Accords in 2020.

Netanyahu regards this historic step as his personal political legacy.

Alluding to this, Biden now called for working on a "more hopeful vision of a region in peace, also between Israelis and Palestinians".

The two-state solution envisages a sovereign Palestinian state in peace alongside Israel.

According to Biden, it is the best way "to secure Israel's future as a Jewish democratic state."

Under the leadership of Netanyahu's predecessors Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, Israel's government had recently tried to get closer to the Palestinian leadership.

Under Netanyahu, talks between Israel and the Palestinians had previously come to a virtual standstill.

With ultra-right politicians like Ben Gvir occupying ministerial posts in Netanyahu's new governing coalition, a two-state solution could become even more remote.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-12-29

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