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Biden, Lapid discuss Iran, Israel integration in the Middle East #VentWithKb

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JERUSALEM: President Joe Biden and Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid on Thursday discussed Iran’s rapidly progressing nuclear program, with the Israeli leader later vowing that “there will be no nuclear Iran”.
The US president, who is due to visit Saudi Arabia on Friday, said he also emphasized to Lapid the importance of Israel becoming “fully integrated” in the region.
Their face-to-face talks were at the heart of ‘s 48-hour visit Biden to strengthen the already close relationship between the United States and Israel. The leaders are expected to sign a joint statement late Thursday emphasizing military cooperation and a commitment to preventing Iran, which Israel considers an enemy, from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
“We discussed the threat from Iran,” Lapid told reporters afterward. “There will be no nuclear Iran.”
Israeli officials have sought to use Biden’s first visit to the Middle East as president to emphasize that Iran’s nuclear program has progressed too far and to encourage the Biden administration’s efforts to restore the deal. 2015 with Iran to limit its development.
Restore the deal brokered by the Obama administration and abandoned by Donald trumpet 2018 was a top priority for Biden when he first took office. However, administration officials have grown increasingly pessimistic about the chances of Tehran returning to compliance.
Biden, in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 that aired on Wednesday, gave strong assurances of his determination to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, saying he was prepared to use force as a “method”. final book” if necessary.
Last week, Iran announced that it had enriched uranium to 60% purity, a technical step up from weapons-grade quality.
The joint statement to be released late on Thursday could be of symbolic importance given Mr Biden’s meeting later this week with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia as he seeks to strengthen Mr. forging a regional coalition against Iran.
“I talked about the importance of…for Israel to fully integrate in the region,” Biden said after a face-to-face meeting with Lapid.
Thursday’s meeting could also boost Lapid, who is serving as interim prime minister until the November election. Lapid’s main rival is the former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahuand a joint appearance with Biden could help strengthen his credibility as a statesman and leader.
Israel will hold its fifth election in less than four years this fall.
Biden and Lapid are also scheduled to hold a joint press conference on Thursday and participate in a virtual summit with India and the United Arab Emirates, a gathering of countries known as I2U2. The United Arab Emirates will finance a $2 billion agricultural aid project in India.
Lapid, 58, is a former journalist and TV presenter who entered politics a decade ago. He served as finance minister under Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, before becoming leader of the opposition and putting together a diverse eight-party coalition that ended Netanyahu’s government. .
Naftali Bennett became prime minister, with Lapid as foreign minister. But the coalition fell apart after months of infighting, and Bennett agreed to leave Lapid aside until the election.
Lapid worked hard to cement his credentials as a statesman while serving as secretary of state. His aides believe that the time spent in private, appearing in public and showing friendships with Biden – who, at 79, is on his 10th trip to Israel – will strengthen that image and make voters more comfortable with the idea of ​​Lapid as their leader.
However, Mr. Netanyahu is running for prime minister, and opinion polls have predicted that his conservative Likud party will win the most seats in the next election, outpacing Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
Neither side is willing to single-handedly win the majority of seats needed to form a government, and it is unclear whether either will be able to assemble a governing coalition with smaller parties.
Biden addressed the political uncertainty in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 that aired Wednesday.
“We are committed to the state, not to an individual leader,” he said.
Biden is expected to meet only briefly with Netanyahu, with whom he has had a fractious relationship in the past. Most notably, when Netanyahu was prime minister, his government approved a major settlement project in East Jerusalem while Biden was visiting the country in 2010. Biden, then vice president, was furious. angry.
Like Lapid, Biden also faced a political threat from his predecessor. Trump, an ally of Netanyahu who still enjoys strong support from Republican voters despite efforts to overturn the last election, may be running for another term.
Channel 12 asked if he expected a rematch, to which Biden replied: “I don’t predict, but I won’t be disappointed.”
Given America’s status as Israel’s closest and most important ally, Biden was at the center of the country’s attention during his visit.
Israel held an elaborate welcome ceremony at Tel Aviv airport, which included a red carpet and bands playing the national anthems of both countries. Major TV channels have set up special live coverage of Biden’s arrival, and even broadcast his motorcade on the highway to Jerusalem.
Biden can also look forward to meeting many politicians eager to have his picture taken with him, or possibly sharing in earnest about his administration’s efforts to rejuvenate the Iran nuclear deal.
Israel has opposed the original nuclear deal reached under President Obama in 2015, because its restrictions on Iran’s nuclear enrichment would expire and the agreement made no mention of the program’s name. ballistic missiles or Iran’s military activities in the region.
Instead of the US re-signing the deal Trump withdrew from in 2018, Israel would prefer stricter sanctions in the hope of leading to a more sweeping agreement.
Biden will also receive the nation’s top civilian honor, the presidential medal of honor, from Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Thursday.
He’s also scheduled to meet with US athletes who are participating in the Maccabiah Games. Also known as the “Jewish Olympics,” it is the country’s largest sporting event held every four years for Israeli and Jewish athletes from around the world.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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