Almost a month after his inauguration, US President Biden made the first call to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. They spoke about the corona crisis, Iran and the strengthening of military cooperation. According to Biden it was “a good conversation”.
It is unusual for a new US president to wait so long to consult with the Prime Minister of Israel, an important US ally. Israeli media has already expressed concerns about the seemingly chilled relationship with Washington.
With the phone call, that cold seems somewhat out of the blue. Netanyahu’s office distributed a photo of the Israeli prime minister on the phone. According to a statement by the Israelis, it was a “warm and friendly” conversation that lasted an hour.
According to Netanyahu’s ministry, the two leaders discussed Iran’s possible development of nuclear weapons, the fight against Covid-19, and the desire to negotiate further peace deals between Israel and Arab countries. Netanyahu has previously said he wants to get Biden not to revive the nuclear deal with Iran.
According to sources from the AP news agency around the US government, Biden has held off contact with Netanyahu for so long because he first wanted to consult with European allies about the course to follow with regard to Iran.