Israeli President Isaac Herzog held a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, following his White House visit with U.S. President Joe Biden.
Herzog is also scheduled to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday and deliver an address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress at 11 a.m. EST, marking 75 years since the establishment of the State of Israel.
"Mr. Secretary, it was wonderful to see you before in the Oval Office with President Biden," Herzog told Blinken. "I want to thank you and I want to thank the American administration for hosting me so graciously as we mark 75 years of Israel's independence, it is a great historic moment. And of course, marking the unique relations between Israel and the United States.”
Herzog thanked Blinken for his support in expanding Israel’s peace deals and stopping the Iranian nuclear threat.
“I want to thank you Mr. Secretary for pursuing such important goals as containing and limiting, and stopping the Iranian nuclear program, as building a regional coalition of nations which pursues peace and wants more and more integration with Israel in the region.”
Herzog noted the growing threat of the Lebanese Hezbollah terror and militant group on Israel’s northern border. The group recently set up a military outpost on the Israeli side of the disputed territorial line. He also mentioned the bodies of Israeli soldiers and the POWs being held by Hamas, the Iranian terror proxy organization in Gaza.
Leah Goldin, the mother of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was killed in 2014 in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, accompanied Herzog on his Washington trip.
During Blinken's remarks, he welcomed Herzog to Washington and spoke about the shared values of the United States and Israel.
“We have indeed a unique relationship, grounded in our commitment to Israel's security, but also grounded in democratic values. And what you have been doing, the leadership you have shown in affirming those values, bringing people together in affirmation of those values could not be more important,” Blinken told Herzog.
Blinken affirmed the U.S. commitment “to working together in dealing with the challenge posed by Iran," and said the Biden administration is working to make sure that Iran “never acquires a nuclear weapon.”
The U.S. is “deeply committed to the normalization process and both deepening and expanding Israel's relations with its neighbors far and wide,” Blinken added.
Blinken called the two-state solution “essential to Israel’s long-term security and its standing as a democratic state.”
He also thanked the Israeli president for his role in working toward a compromise in Israel’s judicial reform debate and noted that Herzog will “be following in the steps of your father in addressing a joint session of Congress.”
Herzog is the son of former Israel Defense Forces General and Israel’s sixth president, Chaim Herzog. His brother, Michael, currently serves as Israel's ambassador to the U.S.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.