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Israeli PM Bennett Leaves for Washington Meetings

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett left on his first diplomatic visit to Washington, where he will meet with US President Joe Biden, as well as with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“There is a new administration in the US and a new government in Israel, and I am bringing with me from Jerusalem a new spirit of cooperation, which rests on the special and long-standing connection between the two countries,” Bennett said before boarding the plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport. “We will deal with many fronts, especially the Iranian front, and especially the jump in the Iranian nuclear program over the past two or three years. In particular, we will discuss the plan to block this program.”

Bennett said that he would also discuss Israel’s efforts to fight the coronavirus during his meeting with Biden, as well as ways to strengnthen Israel’s military superiority in the region, high-tech, the economy, innovation, and the climate crisis.

A previous White House statement said that the visit “will also be an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians and the importance of working towards a more peaceful and secure future for the region.”

Bennett’s entourage includes the head of the National Security Council, the cabinet secretary, the head of the Prime Minister’s staff, the Prime Minister’s military secretary, the diplomatic adviser and other senior officials.