Biden to finally meet Netanyahu on UNGA sidelines: White House
The White House says the two will discuss a number of issues, including countering Iran.
US President Joe Biden is set to hold a meeting with Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the United Nations General Assembly in New York next Wednesday, said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a Friday briefing.
Traditionally, after an election, US presidents extend invitations to Israeli prime ministers to visit the White House. However, in Netanyahu's case, this will be the first in-person meeting with Biden since the former returned to office nearly nine months ago, which is unusual considering that the Israeli occupation is the US' closest ally.
The meeting on the UNGA sidelines rather than being formally received by Biden in Washington indicates that tensions between the two allies are yet to be resolved.
During the meeting, Biden and Netanyahu plan to discuss "the shared democratic values between the United States and Israel and a vision for a more stable, prosperous, and integrated region," Sullivan noted, adding that "they will exchange perspectives on effective strategies for countering and deterring Iran."
Earlier this month, Netanyahu announced that he will make a trip to the US but did not mention plans for meetings with American officials during his visit.
This development comes as Netanyahu faces opposition both internally and internationally, particularly over a judicial overhaul he and his coalition are pursuing. Biden has referred to Netanyahu's government as "the most extreme" he's encountered in his long association with Israeli occupation prime ministers.
Some Biden aides expressed concern about potential protests by thousands of Israelis and American Jews outside the White House if the meeting took place there while Biden's administration is avoiding importing "Israel's" internal political debate to the US, an American official said, according to Axios.
Additionally, some on the President's team felt that a Washington DC meeting might send a wrong message about Biden's stance on the judicial overhaul and Netanyahu's government policies, another US official indicated.