(Washington) The meeting at the White House scheduled for Thursday between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been postponed to Friday after an attack near Kabul airport claimed several lives, including some Americans.
Posted on Aug 26, 2021 at 9:52 am Updated at 3:21 pm
Daniella CHESLOW Agence France-Presse
“The bilateral meeting of the President […] was postponed until tomorrow, “announced the US executive a few hours after the announcement of several deadly explosions in Afghanistan.
Israeli President Naftali Bennett has expressed his condolences to the United States.
“On behalf of the people of Israel, I express our deep sorrow for the Americans lost in Kabul,” he said in a statement. Joe Biden called management thanking him for his “understanding” about the postponement of their interview, according to Bennett’s office.
The first face-to-face meeting between the two heads of state and government, which is planned for Friday at 10:25 a.m. (2:25 p.m. GMT) according to the environment of the Israeli Prime Minister, should be an opportunity for them to meet after Naftali takes office to be assessed in June.
The 49-year-old was brought to power to replace Benyamin Netanyahu with an ideologically divided coalition in which his party with a Hawk reputation only has a handful of seats.
He has already claimed that Iran will be the main subject of his visit. The United States is currently trying to reverse former President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
Since that decision, Iran has failed to meet certain key commitments, including uranium enrichment.
“The Prime Minister thinks the return to the Iranian nuclear deal […] is a mistake, ”a senior Israeli official told reporters, arguing that the deal failed to contain“ Iran’s regional aggression ”.
Naftali Bennett said he would submit a “methodological plan” to Joe Biden.
During his visit to the US capital, Bennett met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday.
The US commitment to Israel’s security is still “unshakable,” Blinken told the Israeli Prime Minister.
Aides to Mr Bennett also said the Prime Minister did not intend to consider resuming discussions on the establishment of a Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.
The question “two states is irrelevant, [elle est] nonexistent, ”a senior official told reporters.
Joe Biden’s administration supports a two-state solution and has resumed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians, most of which has been cut by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Biden’s support for the Prime Minister contrasts with growing criticism of Israel from progressive Democrats in Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
However, the president has defied calls by a number of Democrats elected for tighter restrictions on aid to Israel and has focused on other issues such as the pandemic and Afghanistan.