‘Threats From Iran’: Biden Calls Israel’s PM Netanyahu A ‘Friend,’ Vows To Press For Two-State Solution

(Photo by Debbi Hill - Pool/Getty Images)

Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden congratulated newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, saying he looks forward to working with the leader towards a two-state solution amid challenges, including “threats from Iran.”

“Today, Israel’s Knesset voted to ratify a new Israeli government under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been my friend for decades, to jointly address the many challenges and opportunities facing Israel and the Middle East region, including threats from Iran,” Biden said in a statement.

Netanyahu was sworn in for the third time as prime minister on Thursday, forming what some experts call the most right-wing government in Israel’s history. The government was formed by creating a coalition with some ultranationalist, religious Zionist parties. Over 100 former Israeli diplomats sent a letter to Netanyahu warning that his policies will cause “serious damage to Israel’s foreign relations.” (RELATED: Benjamin Netanyahu Sworn In As Next Israeli Prime Minister)

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pose for a picture with the new government ministers at the President’s residence in Jerusalem on December 29, 2022. – Israel’s hawkish veteran Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister on December 29 after a stint in opposition, heading what analysts call the most right-wing government in the country’s history. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP) (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden did not express any concern about Netanyahu’s government, and said the U.S. would “oppose policies that endanger its viability or contradict our mutual interests and values.”

“The United States is working to promote a region that’s increasingly integrated, prosperous, and secure, with benefits for all of its people. From the start of my Administration, we have worked with partners to promote this more hopeful vision of a region at peace, including between Israelis and Palestinians. We aim to continue this important work with Israel’s new government under Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership.  And as we have throughout my Administration, 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 added.

Netanyahu has served six terms as prime minister. He is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister in history, holding the position from 1996 to 1999 and from 2009 to 2021.