Biden meets with Netanyahu, invites him to the United States

by Emily Rose and Steve Holland

JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Monday invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for an official visit to the United States on a date yet to be set, the White House and cabinet officials said in separate statements. happened. Israeli leader.

Although it is customary to invite an Israeli prime minister to Washington within a limited period of time, due to concerns over justice reform and Israeli activities undertaken by Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox government, Joe Biden decided to wait. occupied the West Bank.

The White House chief made the offer during a phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Washington on Tuesday. Netanyahu returned as head of the Israeli government more than six months ago.

A senior Biden administration official said the two leaders agreed to meet “in the United States this year”, but it was not immediately clear whether the meeting would take place at the White House.

The Israeli government’s decision to allow settler outposts in the West Bank amid renewed violence and inflammatory comments from members of the ruling coalition has drawn criticism from US officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a visit to Israel last March.

According to an Israeli statement, Benjamin Netanyahu expressed to Joe Biden his intention to seek “broad public consensus” on his justice reform, which has led to widespread anti-government protests in recent months.

The Israeli prime minister’s office reported that the two leaders had “long and warm” talks, adding that the talks also focused on the Iranian threat and strengthening the alliance between the two countries.

(Reporting by Emily Rose in Jerusalem and Steve Holland in Washington; French edition by Jean Terzien)

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