Joe Biden on his way to his first Middle East tour
a real balancing act between the twists and turns of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tensions with Iran and negotiations with the Saudi oil power.
Biden welcomed by Isaac Herzog
Air Force One left American soil and is due to land around 3:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. GMT) at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, where Mr. Biden will be greeted by President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
And, immediately, the Israeli army must give him a demonstration of its technologies, including an anti-drone laser, a way of rallying Washington to its cabal against its number one enemy: Iran.
Talks about Iran
“Discussions with Mr. Biden will focus first and foremost on Iran,” said Mr. Lapid, interim prime minister until the November 1 snap election, said this week. Joe Biden, a veteran of the American political scene, first visited Israel in 1973, when this country was, under the leadership of Golda Meir, an ally of the Shah’s Iran.
Today, Israel is trying to prevent Western powers, including the United States and France, from reviving the 2015 international agreement governing Iran’s nuclear program, which Donald Trump scuttled in 2018.
With US economic sanctions on Iran lifted, Israel fears deal could swell Islamic Republic aid to allies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas, Israel’s pet peeves .
Israeli police will deploy some 16,000 troops during the visit, an operation dubbed “Magen Kahol Shalosh (Blue Shield-3)”. And many roads will be closed across Israel, including in Jerusalem.
On King David Street in Jerusalem, where Joe Biden will stay, poles were topped with American flags to mark the first visit by an American head of state since Republican Donald Trump in 2017.
Much to the chagrin of Palestinians, the Trump administration recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy there, a move that Joe Biden did not reverse.
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