The White House and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office discussed holding a regional leaders' meeting as part of President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East toward the end of June, two Israeli officials told Axios on Tuesday.
A regional leaders' meeting headed by Biden would signal US leadership and commitment in the Middle East at a time when the US is seen as withdrawing from the region.
Biden accepted Bennett’s invitation to visit Israel during a phone call the two held on April 24. Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan discussed the upcoming trip during talks at the White House last week, Israeli officials said on Tuesday.
According to the report, Sullivan and Hulata talked about the possibility of adding a regional element to Biden's visit.
One of the ideas was to hold a meeting between Biden, Bennett and several other leaders from the region either in Israel or in another country as a means to continue the momentum of the Negev summit that took place in Israel in late March and as a way to further strengthen the Abraham Accords.
The Israeli officials stressed that the discussion was very preliminary and it is unclear if such a meeting will be possible, but talks on the issue are ongoing.
The White House declined to comment.