/Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss ‘integrated’ Middle East and Iran

Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss ‘integrated’ Middle East and Iran

President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The bilateral meeting comes amid tensions between the two leaders over Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plan and a day after Biden touted Israel’s increased ties to its neighbors in an address to the General Assembly.

In a briefing last week, national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that the leaders would “discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues focused on the shared democratic values between the United States and Israel and a vision for a more stable and prosperous and integrated region, as well as to compare notes on effectively countering and deterring Iran.”

Biden met at the White House in July with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who holds a largely ceremonial position, to discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear program. A day before that meeting, Biden spoke on the phone with Netanyahu and called for “the need for the broadest possible consensus” in the debate over his judicial overhaul efforts, the White House said. Biden also “expressed concern” about settlement growth and reiterated a need to “maintain the viability of a two-state solution and improve the security situation in the West Bank.”

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, had previously said in July that Biden and Netanyahu would meet in the fall.

During Tuesday’s speech to the United Nations, Biden praised efforts to create a more “integrated Middle East.”

“It demonstrates how Israel’s greater normalization and economic connection with its neighbors is delivering positive and practical impacts even as we continue to work tirelessly to support a just and lasting peace” between Israelis and Palestinians, Biden said.

Biden will also hold a bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva later Wednesday. The U.S. president will then participate in campaign receptions in the afternoon before departing New York for the White House in the evening.

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