Bennett and Biden
Bennett and Biden Avi Ohayon/GPO

US President Joe Biden accepted Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s invitation to Israel and will visit “later this year”, the White House said on Sunday.

In a statement following Bennett and Biden’s phone call, the White House said the President spoke with the Prime Minister “to reaffirm the warm and historic partnership between the United States and Israel.”

“The leaders discussed the shared security and other challenges in the Middle East region, including the threat posed by Iran and its proxies. The President underscored his commitment to expanding stability and partnerships across the Middle East region, as exemplified by the Abraham Accords, together with Israelis and Palestinians enjoying equal measures of security, freedom, and prosperity,” the statement added.

The two leaders “discussed the recent US operation against the ISIS leader in northwestern Syria and the ongoing US commitment to protect the American people and support the defense of its partners across the Middle East region,” the statement continued.

“President Biden conveyed his unwavering support for Israel’s security and freedom of action, emphasizing his administration’s full support for replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome system. The two leaders also discussed global challenges outside of the Middle East region, including the potential of further Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

“The President thanked the Prime Minister for his invitation to visit Israel and said he looks forward to a visit later this year. They agreed that their teams would remain in close consultation,” concluded the White House statement.

Prime Minister Bennett’s office said following Sunday’s conversation that “Bennett congratulated President Biden on the successful military operation which led to the elimination of senior ISIS terrorist Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, saying that the operation had made the world a safer place.”

“The two leaders also discussed regional challenges, including increasing Iranian belligerence, and efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, Bennett and Biden also spoke about tensions between Russia and Ukraine.”

The statement said that “Bennett concluded the conversation by inviting Biden and the First Lady to visit Israel, with the two leaders agreeing to keep in regular contact.”