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At first meeting, Biden pledges to Bennett that Iran will ‘never’ get nukes

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US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett concluded their first face-to-face meeting at the White House on Friday, with the American leader pledging that Iran will “never” get a nuclear weapon, and saying that though he prefers a diplomatic solution, there are “other options” should that fail.

Speaking after their one-on-one meeting, which lasted about 50 minutes, Biden said the two leaders’ teams would discuss “the unwavering commitment that we have in the United States to Israel’s security” as well as “ways to advance peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians.”

He said they would “discuss the threat from Iran and our commitment to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon… We’re putting diplomacy first and seeing where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options.”

Biden added that the US supported Israel developing “deeper ties” with its Arab and Muslim neighbors, though he did not use the term “Abraham Accords,” as seems to be administration policy toward the deals mediated by the previous administration.

The American leader also committed to replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which saw heavy use during May’s 11-day conflict with Hamas in Gaza. And he said he’d “direct his team to work toward getting Israel into the US visa waiver program, “and get that done.”

Biden said that he and Bennett had “become close friends,” adding that “I’ve known every Israeli prime minister since Golda Meir, gotten to know them fairly well, and I look forward to establishing a strong personal relationship with you.”

Bennett thanked Biden for his support of Israel, especially during the May conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

“That’s where friendship is really........

© The Times of Israel

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