Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a “warm conversation” with US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday, Netanyahu’s office said, in a delayed and clear acknowledgment of Biden’s election defeat of the Israeli leader’s ally Donald Trump.
“The two agreed to meet soon to discuss the many issues that are pending and reaffirmed the need to continue to strengthen the strong alliance between the United States and Israel,” the Israeli statement said.
Netanyahu had congratulated Biden and running mate Kamala Harris on Twitter on November 8, a day after the Democrat declared victory in the US ballot. On Twitter, right-winger Netanyahu also thanked Trump for his friendship with Israel.
In those messages and in subsequent public remarks, Netanyahu refrained from referring to Biden as “president-elect”, in what was widely seen as an attempt to avoid angering Trump, who has challenged his rival’s victory.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister had a “warm conversation” with the US president-elect, in a delayed and clear acknowledgement of Biden’s election victory over Trump. https://t.co/vAwGAHArV9
— Al-Shabaka الشبكة (@AlShabaka) November 18, 2020
But the statement issued after Netanyahu and Biden spoke used that term and said they had “a warm conversation” in which the president-elect “reiterated his deep commitment to the State of Israel and its security”.
A spokesman for Biden’s transition declined to comment, but a summary of the call from Biden’s team was expected later on Tuesday.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, whose post is largely ceremonial, also spoke to Biden on Tuesday, congratulating him on his election and calling him a “long-standing friend” of Israel, Rivlin’s spokesman said.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)