White House Confirms Biden Will Call Netanyahu ‘Very Soon’
The White House confirmed on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will do so “very soon.”
There has been speculation in recent weeks as to why Biden has not called Netanyahu since his inauguration late last month, with some suggesting that Biden does not want to aid Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli elections.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “I know there’s been some questions about when the president will speak with prime minister Netanyahu. … Let me first confirm for you that his first call with a leader in the region will be with prime minister Netanyahu. It will be soon.”
“I don’t have an exact date for you but it will be soon,” she said. “Stay tuned.”
Psaki also addressed a previous press briefing on Feb. 12, in which she did not directly answer whether the administration considered Israel an important ally.
“Israel is, of course, an ally,” she said during her Tuesday remarks. “Israel is a country where we have an important strategic security relationship, and our team is fully engaged.”
“Not at the head of state level quite yet,” Psaki acknowledged, “but very soon.”
She said that the administration is “having constant conversations at many levels with the Israelis.”