US President Joe Biden lands in Israel on first official trip to the Middle East

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US President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday for his first visit to the Middle East during his presidency.

He was received by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, caretaker Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and President Isaac Herzog welcomes US President Joe Biden as he lands for a three-day visit, at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel, July 13, 2022. (Reuters)
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and President Isaac Herzog welcomes US President Joe Biden as he lands for a three-day visit, at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel, July 13, 2022. (Reuters)

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Biden and the Israeli officials held a press conference at Ben Gurion Airport.

Biden, in his address, vowed to “advance Israel’s integration” in the Middle East and stregthen US-Israel bilateral ties.

In his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that the US and Israel will hold talks on renewing a “global coalition” against Iran.

“We will discuss the need to renew a strong global coalition that will stop the Iranian nuclear program,” Lapid said, moments after Air Force One touched down in Israel.

It is Biden’s tenth visit to Israel, which has stepped carefully around disagreements with Washington over Iranian nuclear diplomacy and long-stalled Palestinian statehood negotiations.

“Your relationship with Israel has always been personal,” Lapid said in a speech, calling Biden “a great Zionist and one of the best friends Israel has ever known.”

The four-day trip will see Biden hold talks with Israeli, Palestinian, and Saudi Arabian officials.

Biden is participating Wednesday in a formal welcome ceremony in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and will receive a briefing on Israel’s Iron Dome and Iron Beam air defense systems.

He’ll later make his way to Jerusalem for a wreath laying ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to Holocaust victims in World War II.

Biden is spending two days in Jerusalem for talks with Israeli leaders before meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday in the West Bank.

He then heads to Saudi Arabia.

With agencies

Read more: US President Biden’s visit to Saudi unlikely to lead to lasting relations: Luttwak

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