US President Biden addresses the press in Jerusalem
US President Biden addresses the press in Jerusalem GPO

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon in Jerusalem, US President Joe Biden emphasized his country's ironclad commitment to Israel's security.

"Israel has the capability to defend itself, by itself, and it has an ironclad commitment from the United States of America to its security," Biden said, echoing the words of interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid who spoke just moments earlier and stressed that Israel had to have the ability to protect itself.

"We made a mistake walking away from US influence in the Middle East," Biden added. "I will be meeting with nine other heads of state to serve US interests and Israel's interests as well."

Biden also reiterated that, "We are committed to ensuring that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon."

In response to a reporter's question, the US President said that his decision not to have Israeli representatives join him for a visit to eastern Jerusalem did not reflect a change in his administration's policy of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Biden also stressed that, "Israel must remain a democratic, Jewish state. The best way to do that is by having two states for two peoples, each equally respected. Anything that takes us farther from that is a blow to Israel's security."

"Our ties go back to eleven minutes after Israel declared statehood, when the US became the first country to recognize Israel," Biden added. "We will be the last country to walk away from Israel. We are here for good - and we have no way out."