President Biden reaffirms historic ties with Israel during maiden visit as POTUS

JERUSALEM: US President Joe Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday afternoon, opening his first visit to the Middle East as president, during which he will hold talks with officials of Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia.

According to the details, Biden was welcomed in an official ceremony at the Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv by Israeli President Issac Herzog, Prime Minister Yair Lapid, ministers and lawmakers.

In remarks, President Biden said, “We’re going to deepen our connections in science and innovation and work to address global challenges through the new strategic high-level dialogue on technology. We’ll continue to advance Israel’s integration into the region, expand emerging forums and engagement.”

He added, “Greater peace, greater stability, greater connection. It’s critical. It’s critical if I might add, for all the people of the region.”

Speaking right after him, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that Biden’s visit is both historic and deeply personal.

“It is historic because it expresses the unbreakable bond between our countries. Our commitment to shared values: democracy, freedom and the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own. And it is a very personal visit because your relationship with Israel has always been personal. You once defined yourself as a Zionist. You said that you don’t have to be a Jew in order to be a Zionist. You were right, and in your case, a great Zionist and one of the best friends Israel has ever known,” he added.

He further said, “You have not been here for a few years, so in the next couple of days, you will see how Israel has grown and developed. You will see the strength and smartness of the Israeli army, the creativity of the start-up nation, and the diversity of the Israeli society.”

Biden will spend two days in Jerusalem before traveling to the West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday.

On Friday afternoon, he will fly to Saudi Arabia for talks with Saudi officials, where he will also participate in a summit with officials from regional countries.

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