Bennett to meet Biden in July

Bennett to have first meeting as prime minister with US President next month.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naftali Bennett holds press conference at Ben Gurion
Naftali Bennett holds press conference at Ben Gurion

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will meet US President Joe Biden in Washington DC in July, the Walla news site reported. Israeli officials hope to schedule the meeting for after July 18, when Congress returns from recess.

The meeting will be the first between the two since Bennett assumed office earlier this month.

Both sides hope to improve relations which were strained under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had a close relationship with former President Donald Trump but sparred with Trump's predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu was extremely vocal in his opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal the Obama Administration negotiated with Iran and the Biden Administration's intention to return to the deal after Trump withdrew from it in 2018. Prime Minister Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also oppose the return of the US to the nuclear deal, but have signaled a greater willingness to work with the US on the issue.

Minister Lapid met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Italy on Sunday. The two discussed the negotiations to return to the Iran nuclear deal and Israel's concerns over them.

Blinken said: "We will have occasional differences. We have the same objectives. Sometimes we differ on the tactics. We are very clear and direct with each other when that’s the case. And that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is scheduled to meet with Biden at the White House later today, about a week before Rivlin leaves office.

The details of the meeting are being worked out by Bennett’s foreign policy adviser Shimrit Meir and Biden’s top Middle East adviser Brett McGurk, Barak Ravid reported for Axios.