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Bennett: Biden ‘loves Israel,’ invited to visit ‘after Delta variant defeated’

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WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday that during his meeting with US President Joe Biden he extended an invitation for him to visit Israel after the pandemic has subsided.

“I invited the president to Israel after we defeat the Delta variant,” Bennett said in a briefing to the Israeli reporters who traveled with him to Washington. Israel has been leading the way in pushing third-shot boosters to overcome the variant that threatened to undo the progress achieved by the vaccination campaign.

Bennett was emphatic about how well his meeting with Biden had gone.

“It was a wonderful meeting, especially the one-on-one,” he said. “It was mostly a working meeting. There was a feeling that we’ve known each other for a long time. I found a leader who loves Israel, who knows exactly what he wants, and is attentive to our needs.”

The premier said that even after the blast in Kabul forced the cancellation of the meeting originally scheduled for Thursday, Biden had been adamant about making sure it still happened and rescheduling it for the next day.

“I am truly grateful to the president and his entire staff for their determination to carry out the meeting,” Bennett said, praising the Biden administration for their “attentiveness and focus at the height of a complex American incident.”

The prime minister said he was pleased to hear Biden’s insistence that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon.

“Both President Biden and I are determined that Iran won’t ever get a nuclear weapon. I am happy that we agree on the goal. Our staffs will work in the coming days, weeks, and months to develop channels of cooperation,” he said.

“But I must say there isn’t a lot of time. The subject is urgent, and cannot be pushed aside,” Bennett added.

During public remarks the two gave in the Oval Office, Biden still clarified that he prefers a diplomatic approach to block Iran’s path to the bomb, namely the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. However, he said that “other options” would be pursued if those negotiations failed.

Later pressed on what was meant by other options, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to elaborate. Israel has been........

© The Times of Israel

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