Thu, 30 Jun 2022

Israeli FM, Blinken discuss Biden's upcoming visit

Xinhua
22 Jun 2022, 04:55 GMT+10

JERUSALEM, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked on Tuesday over U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to Israel in July.

Lapid is expected to serve as Israel's interim prime minister when Biden visits Israel on July 13. On Monday, Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced to disband their shaky coalition, sending the country to a new parliamentary election, the fifth in three years.

"The visit will have significant implications for the region and the fight against Iran, as well as tremendous potential to significantly improve regional stability and security," Lapid was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Lapid said he was hopeful that Biden's first trip to Israel since becoming U.S. president "will be an opportunity to emphasize the president's deep personal connection to Israel, and U.S.' commitment to Israel's security, as well as strengthening Israel's status in the region."

On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel is building a U.S.-sponsored air defense alliance in the Middle East. He said the apparatus would be boosted by Biden's trip.

Israel and Gulf Arab countries have been drawn closer over the past years amid the shared concerns over Iran, their common rival.

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