Photo Credit: Executive Office of the President of the United States / public domain
Barbara A. Leaf, Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council under President Joe Biden, 2021

A high-ranking US diplomat is expected to arrive in the region Sunday for talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah ahead of a visit next month by President Joe Biden.

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf boarded a plane this weekend for a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Leaf has previously served as Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council and prior to that, as US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.


Her visit is slated to last from Saturday (June 11) through Wednesday (June 14).

Leaf is expected to consult with Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials on “a range of priorities,” the State Department said, including:

  • deepening bilateral US cooperation with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority,
  • promoting Israeli-Palestinian relations and US support for a two-state solution,
  • deterring Iran’s aggressive regional activities, and
  • support for Israel’s integration into the broader Middle East region.

In addition to meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Leaf is scheduled to meet with representatives of Israeli and Palestinian Authority civil society, the State Department said.

She will be accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr and NSC Director for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Cynthia Cook.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.