US President Joe Biden on Wednesday landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport as part of his Middle East tour, including a visit to Saudi Arabia.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, his deputy Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog welcomed Biden at the airport.
This is Biden’s first trip to the Middle East since taking office, where Biden will also met with Palestinian president during his two days stay in Israel.
“I’m proud to say that our relationship with the State of Israel is deeper and stronger, in my view, than it’s ever been,” Biden said upon his arrival.
Praising the ties between the two countries, Biden added, “The connection between the Israeli people and the American people is bone deep. Generation after generation, that connection grows. We invest in each other, we dream together.”
Biden also reaffirmed the unshakable commitment of the US to Israel’s security, including partnering with Israel on the most cutting-edge defense systems in the world.
“From here, I’m going straight to a briefing on Israeli missiles and rocket defense capabilities, including the US support for the Iron Dome and Israel’s new laser-enabled system called the Iron Beam,” Biden added.
Biden further went on saying that the US and Israel will deepen their connections in “science and innovation” and work to address global challenges through the new Strategic High-Level Dialogue on Technology.
During his speech Biden did not avoid Palestinian issue and said that he would raise his “continued support” for the two-state solution, even though it’s not feasible in “the near term.”
“In my view, the best way to ensure the future of equal measure of freedom, prosperity, and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” Biden said, referring to the ongoing decades-long conflict between two states.
In his comment, Israeli PM Lapid welcomed Biden to Israel, calling the trip “historic” because it expresses the “unbreakable bond between our two countries.”
“President Biden’s trip to Israel is a sign of our commitment to shared values, democracy, freedom, and the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own,” Lapid added.
President Biden will fly to Saudi Arabia on Saturday and will meet with the Kingdom’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Relations between Washington and Riyadh deteriorated after US intelligence agencies accused Prince Salman for approving the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018.
President Biden will also participate in an Arab regional summit in Jeddah city with the participation of Arab leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.
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