Israeli FM, Blinken discuss Biden's upcoming visit


Jerusalem, June 22 : Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke over US President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to Israel in July. Lapid and Blinken spoke to each other on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. Lapid is expected to serve as Israel's Interim Prime Minister when Biden visits Israel on July 13. On Monday, The Israeli Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced to disband their shaky coalition, sending the country to a new parliamentary election, the fifth in three years. "The visit will have significant implications for the region and the fight against Iran, as well as tremendous potential to significantly improve regional stability and security," Lapid was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. He said he was hopeful that Biden's first trip to Israel since becoming US President "will be an opportunity to emphasise the President's deep personal connection to Israel, and US' commitment to Israel's security, as well as strengthening Israel's status in the region". On Monday, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel is building a US-sponsored air defense alliance in the Middle East. He said the apparatus would be boosted by Biden's trip. Israel and Gulf Arab countries have been drawn closer over the past years amid the shared concerns over Iran, their common rival. /IANS


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