UPDATED 9:26 AM PT – Friday, August 27, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett apparently met with members of Joe Biden’s cabinet before meeting with Biden himself.
According to reports Thursday, Bennett met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday before his scheduled meeting with Biden. The prime minister pushed that easing sanctions on Iran would fund Israel’s enemies in the Middle East.
“The Department of Defense is also committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge and to ensuring that Israel can defend itself from threats from Iran, its proxies and terrorist groups,” stated Secretary Austin.
Bennett expressed Israel’s loyalty to the U.S. amid increased chaos in the Middle East as Biden comes under heavy scrutiny for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
“I can assure you that you will find no friend that is more reliable or appreciative than us,” he stated. “And goodwill and pursuit of unity, and we work hard to find the common things that we do agree upon and move forward on it.”
Good conversation with @IsraeliPM Bennett last night. We discussed shared challenges: Global terrorism, Iran’s dangerous aspirations, anti-Semitism & BDS. Reaffirmed my support for deeper strategic partnership and preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge & freedom of action.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) August 26, 2021
The Israeli prime minister also spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), where they discussed mutual challenges including global terrorism, Iran’s dangerous aspirations, anti-Semitism and BDS.