U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan plans to visit Israel in mid-January for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several newly appointed ministers.
According to Axios, Sullivan will be the first Biden administration official to hold talks with the new right-wing government in Jerusalem regarding its policies. He is slated to meet with Israel’s National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, whose portfolio includes handling ties with the White House.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit Israel soon after Sullivan, the report said. Citing anonymous Israeli officials, the report added that Netanyahu could possibly visit Washington in February.
U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement last week that he looks forward to working with Netanyahu to advance regional peace, including a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
“The United States will continue to support the two-state solution and to oppose policies that endanger its viability or contradict our mutual interests and values,” Biden said.
The U.S. expressed concern that Israel’s new government will try to promote measures that are at odds with Washington’s agenda. Those include judiciary reforms, the construction of Jewish settlements and annexation of areas of the West Bank – known as Judea and Samaria – as well as passing bills pertaining to the rights of the LGBTQ community and Arab minorities.
Israeli media reported last week that the Biden administration is already engaged in talks with the new government on the key issue of promoting a peace deal with Saudi Arabia. To that end, Netanyahu reportedly is considering suspending his pledge to annex the Judea-Samaria region, as he has done in a previous tenure.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.