US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides denied on Tuesday that the Biden administration would boycott National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, but stressed his main contact in the new government in Israel would be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“My interface is with the Prime Minister,” Nides told Kan 11 News’ diplomatic correspondent Gili Cohen in an interview. “The Prime Minister, as he has told all of us, has his hands very firmly on the wheel. That’s who we’re dealing with.”

“I’m not saying we’re not going to meet with people or going to meet with people. My interlocutor is the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office. He’s in charge of the government,” continued the Ambassador.

Asked if he felt Netanyahu’s hands were on the wheel when Ben Gvir visited the Temple Mount, Nides replied, “Yes. He has said over and over again that he’s not going to allow for the status quo to change on the Temple Mount and we take him at his word.”

Cohen then asked whether there is a boycott implemented against Ben Gvir from the US or from other Western countries, he said, “There’s no boycott. I don’t do boycotts. That’s not what I do. We are going to work with the Israeli government. It’s a democratically elected government. 72% of Israelis showed up [to vote] in the fifth time in two years. It’s remarkable.”

To the question if he intends to cooperate with each minister in the new government, Nides responded, “We’ll work with everyone, but in principle who I’ll be working with is the Prime Minister.”

Cohen noted that the coalition agreement stipulates that Netanyahu will lead a move of applying sovereignty over some parts of Judea and Samaria. On this, Nides said, “He’s assured me he will work with the US government. Obviously we have shared values. He understands the position of the United States, which is we want to keep the vision of a two-state solution alive. And he understands that we understand that massive settlement growth will not accomplish this goal.”

Asked if this is a “red line” of the US administration, he replied, “Again, I don’t do red lines or yellow lines. I’m just telling you what our values are. We’ve been very clear about the ideas of legalizing outposts, massive settlement expansion, it will not keep the vision of a two-state solution alive, in which case we will oppose it and we’ll be very clear about our opposition.”

On Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s judicial reforms, Nides said, “I’m not here to involve ourselves in the judicial process of Israel. The Israeli people don’t want to be lectured by America. We have shared values. We’ll let the Israeli public articulate their support or their dismay. That’s up to them. It’s not up to the United States to be commenting on the judicial issues that they face.”

Cohen also asked Ambassador Nides whether he is concerned that the new government will take a more pro-Russian policy, and he replied that he is not concerned about that, adding, “I have no idea that we’ll be on the same page vis-à-vis Russia and Ukraine.”

Finally, Nides commented on adding Israel to the Visa Waiver Program and noted that “we don’t know yet” whether Israel meets the criteria to be added to the program.

“I assume we’ll know in the next couple of weeks. There are a lot of things that are under Israel’s control. The legislation needs to get done quickly. That’s very important because if it doesn’t, you’re going to run out of time and then we have to be clear about reciprocity, that Arab Americans, Arab Palestinian Americans are going to be able to travel freely as they should, and that will be part of the Visa Waiver Program. I think it’s a matter of weeks,” added the Ambassador.