Netanyahu: Blinken Visit ‘Sign of Unbreakable Bond’

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Yerushalayim, Monday. (GPO)

The U.S.-Israel relationship is one of modern history’s great alliances, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Yerushalayim.

“We share common interests, which are growing by the day,” Netanyahu said. “We share common values; two strong democracies which will remain, I assure you, two strong democracies.” The prime minister called President Joe Biden, whom he has known for 40 years, “a true friend of Israel, a true champion of this alliance.”

Netanyahu said Israelis might not know how much Washington has helped Israel – in one crisis “in record time” – with missile defense. “You’ve also just helped us push back on the attempts to delegitimize Israel in the United Nations,” he said. “We’re grateful for that and for your continual friendship.”

Blinken called the meeting with Netanyahu “a very productive, very candid, and I think important discussion that covered a lot of issues.” He added that he had expressed his condolences for the victims of Friday’s terrorist shooting.

Blinken – who previously said a military option remained on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran – reiterated to Netanyahu that the Islamic Republic remained a regional threat.

“Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon,” said Blinken. He and Netanyahu discussed ways in which to coordinate against Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region. Blinken also said Iran was providing drones to Russia, which it is using to “kill innocent Ukrainian civilians.”

“In turn, Russia is providing sophisticated weaponry to Iran,” Blinken said. “It’s a two-way street.”

He added that one of the most effective ways to ensure Israel’s security is to continue to build bridges in the region by deepening and broadening the Abraham Accords “and other normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states.”

The U.S. secretary of state concluded with support for the two-state solution, which he said would achieve a permanent peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Blinken urged “all sides” to restore calm and de-escalate amidst recent tensions and also affirmed the US support for the status quo on Har HaBayis.

“We continue to support upholding the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy places,” Blinken said, “including the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. We’re grateful to the prime minister for his repeated expressions of support for that position.”

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