Netanyahu not bothered that Biden hasn't phoned him yet, envoy says

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not troubled that U.S. President Joe Biden has not phoned him yet, Israel's ambassador to Washington said on Saturday, seeking to play down the lack of direct contact so far.

Reuters February 14, 2021 01:10:58 IST
Netanyahu not bothered that Biden hasn't phoned him yet, envoy says

Netanyahu not bothered that Biden hasnt phoned him yet envoy says

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not troubled that U.S. President Joe Biden has not phoned him yet, Israel's ambassador to Washington said on Saturday, seeking to play down the lack of direct contact so far.

There has been speculation that the Democratic president could be signalling displeasure over the close ties Netanyahu forged with former President Donald Trump, who called Netanyahu two days after his inauguration in 2017.

"The prime minister is not worried about the timing of the conversation," Ambassador Gilad Erdan told N12's Meet The Press. He said Biden had urgent matters to contend with, such as the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.

On Friday, the White House denied that Biden was intentionally snubbing Netanyahu by failing to include him so far in phone calls to foreign leaders since taking office on Jan. 20, saying the two leaders would speak soon.

Biden has already called numerous foreign leaders, including those from China, Mexico, Britain, India, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Russia.

David Makovsky, a former U.S. Middle East negotiator at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said on Twitter that once Biden starts phoning Middle East leaders, Netanyahu would likely be first among them.

While the right-wing Netanyahu was in lock-step with Trump over Middle East policy, he could be in for frostier relations with Biden, although Biden has long been regarded in Israel as a friend in Washington.

Netanyahu may find the alliance tested if Washington restores U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from and opposes Israeli settlement building on occupied land where Palestinians seek statehood.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.