Photo Credit: US State Dept. photo / Ron Przysucha/Public Domain
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken participates in a video teleconference with the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council from Washington, DC on Feb. 22, 2021.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid Thursday for the second time in less than a week, continuing their conversations on the new Israeli government sworn in on June 13. The two diplomats also discussed the “opportunities and ongoing challenges for Israel and the region,” according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

“The Secretary discussed the US commitment to Israel’s security, the importance of the US-Israel bilateral relationship, and the need to improve Israeli-Palestinian relations in practical ways,” Price said in a statement.

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“They also shared opinions on opportunities to deepen normalization efforts as well as on regional security issues, including Iran.

“Secretary Blinken and Minister Lapid underscored the strong partnership between the United States and Israel, and America’s unwavering support for Israel’s security,” Price added.

Blinken and Lapid allegedly agreed to a policy of “no surprises,” according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry. The two plan to meet soon.

This Sunday IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi travels to the United States to meet at the Pentagon with his American counterpart, General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kochavi and US defense officials will discuss “current shared security challenges,” according to an IDF statement, “including matters dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily in the Middle East, Hezbollah’s rearmament efforts, the consequences of the threat of precision-guided missiles and joint force build-up.”

JNS contributed to this report.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.