- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2021

President Biden will host Israel‘s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Aug. 26, the White House announced Wednesday.

“Prime Minister Bennett’s visit will strengthen the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel, reflect the deep ties between our governments and our people, and underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel‘s security,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The pair will discuss critical issues related to global security in the Middle East, including Iran, she said.

It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders and had been in the works since Mr. Bennett’s election in June.

Mr. Biden phoned Mr. Bennett after he was sworn in, affirming Washington’s commitment to Israel‘s security and vowed to work closely with the new Israeli government.

Mr. Biden in June hosted outgoing Israel President Reuven Rivlin, promising him that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on his watch.

The Biden administration has been trying to revive the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, which Israel has opposed.

Former President Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, but Mr. Biden has sought to re-enter the agreement. However, progress between the White House and Tehran has moved slowly with Iran insisting the U.S. remove all economic sanctions.

Despite differences between the two nations on the Iran deal, Mr. Biden told Mr. Rivlin that the U.S. commitment to Israel is “ironclad” and “unwavering.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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