US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday pledged enduring ties with Israel but warned against inflaming tensions with the Palestinians, following a rare public spat with Tel Aviv, the New Arab reported.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, US President Joe Biden called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step back from a bid to weaken the judiciary that has set off massive protests.
Netanyahu, who at least temporarily froze the push faced with a general strike, responded that he would not bow to foreign pressure but took a more conciliatory tone when he participated in a democracy summit called by Biden.
In the highest level contact since the exchange, Blinken called Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and “reaffirmed the importance of the enduring US- Israel bilateral relationship,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.
Blinken also discussed Iran, seen by Netanyahu as a paramount threat, and renewed US support for a Palestinian state — an idea rejected by much of Netanyahu’s hard-right government.
The top US diplomat “emphasized the importance of refraining from unilateral actions that exacerbate tensions,” Patel said in a statement.
(The New Arab, PC)
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