Joe Biden calls Israeli PM after Sharm El Sheikh meeting


Washington: US President Joe Biden on Sunday spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone after the Sharm El Sheikh meeting between officials of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

During the call, Biden welcomed the meeting between senior political and security officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan, and the United States with an aim to reduce tensions, the White House said in a readout of the call.

Biden reinforced the need for all sides to take urgent, collaborative steps to enhance security coordination, condemn all acts of terrorism, and maintain the viability of a two-state solution, the White House said.

“The President also underscored his belief that democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship, that democratic societies are strengthened by genuine checks and balances, and that fundamental changes should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support,” it said.

According to the White House, Biden offered support for efforts underway in Israel to forge a compromise on proposed judicial reforms consistent with those core principles.

“The two leaders also discussed tensions and violence in the West Bank,” it said.
Biden reiterated his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the ongoing cooperation between the two national security teams, including to counter all threats posed by Iran. Both leaders agreed to stay in regular contact over the coming weeks, the White House said.

“The participants noted that meetings at this level have not taken place in nearly a decade, and that these meetings are building toward establishing a series of understandings upon which to de-escalate tension,” Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, White House, said in a separate statement.

We welcome the meeting and understandings reached today in Sharm El Sheikh between senior political and security officials of Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he said adding that this was the second such meeting in this format, with participation by senior officials from the United States, Egypt, and Jordan, following the gathering in Aqaba three weeks ago.

“We look forward to continuing these discussions as we enter the Holy month of Ramadan, Passover, and Easter, and over the months to follow,” Watson said.

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( With inputs from )

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