Biden in Rivlin: Iran will never have a nuclear weapon under my watch

WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden, in a meeting Monday with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, said Iran will never get a nuclear weapon while it is in office. “Iran will never have a nuclear weapon under my watch,” Biden said. He also touched on Sunday’s airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in Syria and Iraq: thank the president for being here, ”Biden said at the start of their conversation in the Oval Office. Biden assured Rivlin that his commitment to Israel “is foolproof” and that he has an “unwavering commitment to [Israel’s] self-defense. My team and I are already working closely with the Israeli government which took office earlier this month, ”Biden said. “I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Bennett to the White House very soon.”

Later Monday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi welcomed Rivlin to Capitol Hill during a meeting with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. “Support for Israel in this Congress has always been strongly bipartisan, and will continue to be so, because of our shared values ​​and mutual security concerns,” she told Rivlin during the meeting. a photo shoot.

President Reuven Rivlin meets with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday, June 28, 2021 (HAIM ZACH / GPO)

On Tuesday, he will hold several meetings at the UN. First, he will meet the Secretary General, then 20 UN ambassadors, including Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Bahrain and Morocco. Rivlin is expected to return to Israel on June 30. His term ends on July 7. He will be replaced by Isaac Herzog, who was elected earlier this month as Israel’s 11th president. restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Biden is the third sitting US president Rivlin will meet, the other two being Donald Trump and Barack Obama. This is also his fourth visit to Washington in office, following previous visits in January 2015, November 2015 and November 2017. “I am delighted to be here again to meet with the President of the United States,” said Rivlin to Biden. “Israel has no better friend or ally than the United States of America. You are our best friends and we [share] values ​​of democracy and liberalism. “And, according to a true friendship, one can, from time to time, discuss and even agree to not agree on everything”, he said, alluding to the possibility of a renewal of the JCPOA. . “But we are counting on you,” Rivlin told Biden. “Your statement just made it clear to the Israelis that we have a great friend in the White House. Biden told the meeting that the United States and Israel will continue to work to advance peace in the region and promote stability. fully supports the normalization of relations between Israel and the countries of the Middle East on which you are making progress – in Africa as well, ”Biden said. “And beyond the significant progress, we really look forward to rebuilding a larger bloc of peace and stability. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State, also attended the meeting.

“We had a very in-depth and detailed meeting on issues that concern the entire Middle East and of course the United States,” President Rivlin told reporters at the end of the White House meeting. “We found a true friend of the State of Israel in the White House, even when I met him [Biden] in 1971 in Jerusalem with [former Mayor of Jerusalem] Teddy Kollek, he said you don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist. “

“We found a friend who also responded to our requests to keep an eye on everything related to the emerging deal with Iran,” Rivlin said, adding: “Things are still far from being. decided “.

“The leaders discussed the many challenges facing the region, including the threat posed by Iran,” the White House said in a report of the meeting. Biden “assured President Rivlin that the United States remains committed to countering Iran’s malicious activity and its support for terrorist proxies, which have destabilizing consequences for the region.

“The leaders also consulted on opportunities to strengthen peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond,” the statement said. “In this regard, the president expressed his strong support for the normalization of relations between Israel and other countries of the Arab-Muslim world.

The two also discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and President Biden “stressed the importance for Israel to take measures to ensure calm, stability and to support greater economic opportunities for the Palestinian people.”

“President Biden has affirmed his view that a negotiated two-state solution remains the best way to achieve lasting peace. The leaders discussed the importance of redoubling efforts to strengthen moderate voices and promote the cause of coexistence while weakening extremists who advocate hatred and violence, ”the statement said.

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