Bennett: Biden to help integrate Israel into Middle East (‘Israel in contact with another three states’)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and US President Joe Biden (AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  June 15, 2022

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that US President Joe Biden would help integrating Israel in the Middle East, a statement issued by Bennett’s office said.

Bennett also said that Biden’s trip is intended “to reinforce the United States’ iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity.”

“The State of Israel welcomes President Biden’s visit to the region, including his important visit to Saudi Arabia, and thank him for his efforts to strengthen the countries’ joint interests and expand regional peace.”

Bennett said that Biden’s visit “to Israel will deepen the special relationship and the strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as strengthen the US commitment to the security and stability of Israel and the region.”

It “will reveal the steps that are being taken by the US to integrate Israel into the Middle East and increase the prosperity of the entire region.”

“The US and Israel,” Bennett added, “will be forging agreements set to strengthen the civilian and security cooperation between the two counties and take the US-Israel alliance to new heights.”

Biden is planning to visit Ramallah and meet with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as heading to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

 Israel says ‘in contact’ with 3 states having no ties with Tel Aviv

 Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, said Wednesday he is in contact with counterparts from three countries that do not have official relations with Israel, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Lapid, however, did not name these countries.

Lapid told reporters that Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are on Israel’s list of targeted countries to establish ties with Tel Aviv.

Asked if an Israeli official will escort US President, Joe Biden during his planned visit to Saudi Arabia next month, Lapid did not deny the question, but kept it open by saying in a joking manner that Biden’s plane is “a big aircraft,” according to the Israel Hayom news website.

The Israeli Foreign Minister added that Israel continues to seek adding more Arab countries to the four countries that established ties with Israel.

There was no comment from Saudi or Indonesian authorities on Lapid’s remarks.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco signed US-sponsored agreements to normalize relations with Israel in 2020.