Top diplomats of US, Israel discuss Biden’s ME trip

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Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel is building a US-sponsored air defence alliance in the Middle East. He said the apparatus would be boosted by Biden’s trip….reports Asian Lite News

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke over the 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 defence alliance in the Middle East. He said the apparatus would be boosted by Biden’s trip.

Dubbing the regional alliance as Middle East Air Defence (MEAD), Gantz on Monday added that it is being built “in the wake of Iran’s attempts to hit the region with rockets, cruise missiles and drones,” according to an official transcript of his meeting with the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

The Israeli Defence Minister revealed that he has been working on the extensive programme together with the Pentagon and the US President Joe Biden’s administration over the past year, Xinhua news agency reported.

Israel, US Discuss Iran Issue

Its aim is “to strengthen the cooperation between Israel and countries in the region under the auspices of the United States and CentCom (the US Central Command),” Gantz said.

He did not specify which other countries in the region are part of the new alliance already “in operation”.

Gantz added that he was hopeful that the plan would be boosted by Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia in July.

Israel and Gulf countries have been drawn closer over the past years amid their shared concerns over Iran as Israel has been publicly calling for defence cooperation.

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