The US affirms that the best way to achieve it is through diplomacy and the nuclear agreement, although “it is prepared to use all the elements of its national power” to ensure it. Lapid tells him: “Diplomacy and words will not stop Iran”
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A few meters from the walls of the Old City, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem has become the most luxurious fortress in Israel, serving as the setting for the meetings of the American president Joe Biden on his second day of his first tour in the Middle East.
The leader has conveyed four central messages to Prime Minister Yair Lapid: commitment to Israel’s security (“As long as there is America, you will never be alone”), the promise to avoid a nuclear Iranthe impulse of the normalization of relations with Arab countries and, finally, the need for two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
All this has been recorded this Thursday in the Declaration of Jerusalem signed by Biden and Lapid. After guaranteeing the commitment “to preserve and strengthen Israel’s ability to deter its enemies and defend itself against any threat”, the US has indicated that “an integral part of this promise is the commitment that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon and that he is prepared to use all the elements of his national power” to secure it.
“We will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. It is in the vital interest of Israel, the US and the world. Diplomacy is the best way to achieve this,” Biden repeated at the press conference in which the Israeli leader suggested another formula: “The only thing that will stop Iran is if it knows that further development of its nuclear program will make the free world exert its force. Mr. President, diplomacy and words will not stop them. The only way to stop Iran is to put a credible military threat on the table.“.
According to Lapid, “the last year with Russia’s unwarranted invasion of Ukraine, the escalation of the Iranian nuclear threat and threats of terror around the world reminded us that to defend freedom, sometimes you have to use force.”
“From Jerusalem you travel directly to Saudi Arabia. Your visit to Saudi Arabia is important for Israel and the region. With you, we send a message of peace to all the peoples of the region, including the Palestinians,” added the acting prime minister. until the November elections.
Biden adopts the Abraham Accords promoted by the Trump Administration. “This Friday I will be the first president of the United States to travel from Israel to Saudi Arabia,” Biden declared that this Saturday in Jeddah he will announce the Saudi green light for the flight of Israeli airlines in its airspace. From his predecessor, he distanced himself from abandoning the Middle East: “We will not create a vacuum that can be filled by China and Russia against the US, Israel and other countries,” he warned. The close alliance does not hide differences in two fields summarized in two words: Ramallah and Tehern.
Although Lapid is the first Israeli head of government in more than a decade to openly support the two-state solution, the composition of its acting coalition and the political crisis make it impossible to negotiate with the Palestinians. Hence, in the Jerusalem Declaration, the two countries share their “commitment to initiatives that strengthen the Palestinian economy and improve the quality of life for Palestinians” but only Biden calls for the creation of a Palestinian state. Something to repeat with even greater emphasis in this Friday’s meeting with the Palestinian president, Abu Mazen, in Bethlehem.
The two countries differ, above all, around the possible resumption of the Iran nuclear agreement, although without maintaining the harsh media confrontation of 2015 when then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked President Barack Obama from Congress in Washington for sponsoring the agreement. with Tehran. Three years later, Trump abandoned him to the applause of Netanyahu.
In the security agencies there are also differences. The Mossad considers that a nuclear agreement as outlined in the talks is “dangerous” since it does not strike down the Iranian nuclear project and gives billions of dollars to the Revolutionary Guard and its militias. Military intelligence, for its part, admits that the agreement is bad, but better than the current situation in which Iran reaches unprecedented levels of uranium enrichment.
Lapid and Biden held a video conference with the president of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyanand the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. “Our countries do not share borders, but they do share the desire for prosperity, security and peace,” the Arab leader pointed out in a cooperation forum on areas such as energy or food security.
President Isaac Herzog has decorated Biden with Israel’s presidential medal of honor in an act in which he has met with Netanyahu, whom he has known for 40 years. Still, many in the Biden Administration pray that he does not return to power.
Biden has sealed the day in Jerusalem in which he expressed his admiration inherited from his father towards Israel and the Jewish people, presiding over the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah, which brings together almost 10,000 Jewish athletes from around the world.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism