US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that his country and Israel are “at a critical juncture” on a wide range of security issues.
“The United States and Israel are at a critical juncture for both countries on a wide range of security issues,” Sullivan added, prior to his meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in West Jerusalem.
“It is important that we sit down together and develop a common strategy and outlook, and find a way forward that fundamentally secures their interests,” he added.
And he added, in statements to reporters: “We believe that these interests, like the values upon which our two countries are built, are deeply shared and felt.”
For his part, Bennett said before the meeting: “I want to say that the relationship between my government and the Biden administration between Israel and the United States is as strong as it has always been.”
“Being so strong and having this meaningful friendship means that we can also talk openly about all the common challenges we face and that’s what we’re going to do,” he added.
Bennett continued: “These days are very important, what is happening in Vienna (the nuclear talks between Iran and the major Western countries) has profound repercussions.
This is on the stability of the Middle East and the security of Israel in the coming years, which is why the meeting came at the right time.”
Sullivan arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a two-day visit that will lead him this evening to the West Bank city of Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The visit comes at a time when the Israeli channel “13” (privately) said on Tuesday evening that Washington had not responded for three weeks to Bennett’s request.
Which was to make a phone call with US President Joe Biden, during which he wanted to raise the issue of the nuclear talks that are taking place during this period in Vienna.”
After a five-month hiatus, on November 29, Western countries resumed negotiations with Iran with the aim of returning to the agreement signed in 2015.
Washington withdrew from it in 2018 and imposed harsh sanctions on Tehran.
The 2015 deal imposed restrictions on Iran’s program to ensure it would not produce nuclear weapons in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions.
Channel 13 added that the American disregard for Bennett’s request came against the backdrop of a “difficult phone conversation” that took place in December between Bennett and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
In this conversation, Bennett asked to talk about the Iranian nuclear file.
But Blinken raised the issue of Israeli settlement construction in Qalandia (north of occupied East Jerusalem),” according to the channel.
And she stated that “the Americans are protesting every time a (settlement) building plan is published outside the Green Line (the territories occupied in 1948).”
Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations have been suspended since April 2014 for several reasons, including Israel’s refusal to release former detainees and halt settlements.