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Biden ‘looks forward’ to Israel visit this year: W.House

WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden is looking forward to a visit to Israel later this year, he told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during a phone call between the two leaders on Sunday, according to a White House statement.

Biden also conveyed his "unwavering support" for Israel's security and "full support" for replenishing the Iron Dome air defense system. The pair also discussed fears that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, the White House said.

"The President thanked the Prime Minister for his invitation to visit Israel and said he looks forward to a visit later this year," the statement said.

The US leader hosted Bennett at the White House last year, where the pair glossed over their differences and put up a united front.

Israel fiercely opposes Biden's attempt to reverse his predecessor Donald Trump's withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Bennett has also said he will continue settlement construction and is against a Palestinian state in territories Israel captured in 1967.

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Biden spoke with Bennett to "reaffirm the warm and historic partnership between the United States and Israel," The White House said Sunday.

They discussed security in the Middle East, "including the threat posed by Iran and its proxies."

Biden underscored his commitment to stability in the region "together with Israelis and Palestinians enjoying equal measures of security, freedom, and prosperity."

Artmotion S.Africa

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