Blinken Calls Israel’s Bennett, Lapid
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by phone with Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and with Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid. The calls came a day after the two Israeli leaders announced that they would move to dissolve the Knesset and move to new elections.
Blinken “underscored our respect for democratic processes and reiterated our unwavering commitment to the strong U.S.-Israel strategic relationship, and our mutual concerns about Iran’s malign influence in the region,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in statements regarding the two phone calls. He also said that Blinken “emphasized he looks forward to continuing our close coordination on regional and global issues, and noted President Biden looks forward to his visit to Israel next month.”
Bennett told Blinken that “Israel-US relations should continue in their positive spirit and transcend political considerations,” and that “he will continue to support and assist Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid upon his taking office,” according to a statement issued by Bennett’s office.
Lapid told Blinken that Biden’s visit is “an opportunity to emphasize the president’s deep personal connection to Israel, to America’s commitment to Israel’s security, and to strengthening Israel in the region,” according to a statement from his office. “The visit has significant implications for the region and for the struggle against Iran, and great potential to significantly upgrade regional stability and security.”