Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will visit Washington, DC, next Thursday to meet with President Biden to discuss “global security” issues including Iran, the White House said on Wednesday.
Bennett’s visit “will strengthen the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel, reflect the deep ties between our governments and our people, and underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” the White House’s statement said.
“The visit will also be an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians and the importance of working towards a more peaceful and secure future for the region,” the statement said.
It will be Bennett’s first visit to the White House since former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted in June.
Bennett previewed his sitdown with Biden during a press conference in Israel on Wednesday, saying the “topic of Iran will be central.”
“We will be coming [to the White House] very focused, with an approach of partnership, an approach meant to stop the negative regional actions of Iran – its destabilizing, harming human rights and terrorism – and preventing Iran from getting close to nuclear breakout,” Bennett said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
While the Biden administration has opened talks with Iran on rejoining the Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran, Israel has been squarely against it.
And Netanyahu welcomed former President Donald Trump’s withdrawing the US from the deal in 2018.
Bennett spoke out against the deal at his first Cabinet meeting in June following the election of hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s new president.
He said Raisi’s victory was “the last chance for the world powers to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement and to understand who they’re doing business with.”:
“These guys are murderers, mass murderers: a regime of brutal hangmen must never be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction that will enable it to not kill thousands, but millions,” Bennett said.