Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Wednesday morning at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem to discuss the negotiations between Iran and the major powers in Vienna and several additional issues of joint interest to both countries.
Earlier, the national security advisers of Israel and the US – Dr. Eyal Hulata and Jake Sullivan – held a working meeting.
Prime Minister Bennett at the start of his meeting with Sullivan:
Welcome to Jerusalem, Jake. I’m very happy to have you over, and I know that we’re just a couple of days before the holidays, so I all the more appreciate you coming over. You probably expected good weather here in Israel and you landed right into a storm.
I want to say that the relationship between my government and the Biden administration, between Israel and the United States, is as strong as ever. And being so strong and having this meaningful friendship means that we can also talk openly and candidly about all the shared challenges that we’re facing. And that’s what we’re going to do.
These days are pretty important. What happens in Vienna has profound ramifications for the stability of the Middle East and the security of Israel for the upcoming years. And that’s why it’s such a timely meeting.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family, to wish President Biden and the First Lady, and to wish the great people of the United States a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It’s going to be a good day.
National Security Adviser Sullivan said at the start of the meeting:
Well, thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, and I bring personal greetings from President Biden and from Dr. Biden, who wanted me to extend to you their warm wishes.
And they asked me to come here this week, even just before Christmas, because at a critical juncture for both of our countries on a major set of security issues, it’s important that we sit together and develop a common strategy, a common outlook, and find a way forward that fundamentally secures your country’s interests and mine. And we believe those interests, like the values upon which our countries are built, are deeply shared and deeply felt.
And the president also wanted me to convey to you a deeply personal thanks for that hard moment in August when you were in the United States and we had suffered a major terrorist attack in Afghanistan, and you stepped up with support, both personal and on behalf of your country. And that moment – I think like this moment we’re in now – just reflects the extent to which, when Israel and the United States stand together, we stand stronger, and that’s the spirit with which I’m here today.
So thank you personally and thank you to the people of Israel, and I’m looking forward to a good meeting.