Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will visit the White House and meet with President Joe Biden for the first time since assuming office, according to a statement from press secretary Jen Psaki.
Bennett took office in June after the ousting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the conservative leader who had been in power since 2009 and previously served in the role from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu made multiple visits to the U.S. during his time as prime minister, and had a close relationship with former President Donald Trump.
Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday, Bennett said the topic of Iran would be “central” to his conversations with Biden on Aug. 26. He said the leaders will discuss an approach to prevent Iran from nearing a nuclear breakout.
Tensions between Israel and Iran have escalated recently, with Israel’s defense minister warning Iran earlier this month, following a drone strike on an oil tanker.
“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,” Psaki said in the statement about Bennett’s upcoming visit.
“The President and Prime Minister Bennett will discuss critical issues related to regional and global security, including Iran,” she added. “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.”
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