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Blinken invites Lapid for Washington visit next month

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has invited Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to visit Washington, the State Department said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the invitation was issued during a phone call between the two on Monday “to continue conversations following Prime Minister (Naftali) Bennett’s recent visit and to exchange Rosh Hashanah greetings.”

“Secretary Blinken invited Minister Lapid to visit Washington soon. The Secretary and the Minister also underscored the importance of consultations on regional and security topics, including on Afghanistan, Iran, and China,” Price said.

On Monday, Lapid’s office said that the foreign minister praised the Biden administration’s evacuation of Afghanistan, in what appeared to be an attempt to paper over criticism he voiced over the withdrawal last week.

Lapid and Blinken also discussed Israeli efforts to ease pressure in the Gaza Strip while maintaining security, and Iran’s nuclear program. The two agreed to meet next month, Lapid’s office said.

The call came days after Lapid publicly lobbed criticism at the Biden administration’s Afghanistan pullout, despite Bennett being fresh off a visit to Washington in which the administrations sought to display warm ties and a shift from the public tiffs of past governments.

“The minister expressed his deep........

© The Times of Israel

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