Biden Congratulates Bennett

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US President Joe Biden congratulated Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in a statement and then a direct phone call, saying he looks forward to working with the newly installed PM.

The Times of Israel reports that Biden released a statement saying, “On behalf of the American people, I congratulate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and all the members of the new Israeli cabinet.”

“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen all aspects of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations,” he said.

“Israel has no better friend than the United States,” the president asserted. “The bond that unites our people is evidence of our shared values and decades of close cooperation, and as we continue to strengthen our partnership, the United States remains unwavering in its support for Israel’s security.”

Biden then called Bennett directly, in a marked contrast to Biden’s failure to call former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu until several weeks after he was elected president.

The White House said that during the call “President Biden highlighted his decades of steadfast support for the US-Israel relationship and his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. He expressed his firm intent to deepen cooperation between the United States and Israel on the many challenges and opportunities facing the region.”

Bennett’s office issued a statement that thanked the president “for his warm wishes on the inauguration of the new government, and for his long-standing commitment to the State of Israel and its security.”

“Prime Minister Bennett noted his appreciation for the president, and for his support for Israel during the recent operation in Gaza, and noted that he considers him a great friend of the State of Israel,” the statement added.

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