JERUSALEM, Israel – Top US and Israeli security officials met Thursday night by video conference for their first bilateral meeting to discuss regional threats and President Joe Biden’s strategy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, led the US-Israel Strategic Consultative Group meeting. It was the first round of official talks on regional issues and Iran since Biden took the White House.
“During the discussion, the two sides shared perspectives on regional security issues of mutual interest and concern, including Iran, and expressed their common determination to confront the challenges and threats facing the region,” US National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said in a readout on Thursday.
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“The National Security Advisors agreed on the importance of strategic interagency consultations and pledged to continue to these engagements. This meeting is part of the broader ongoing dialogue between the United States and Israel on the full range of issues of importance to the bilateral relationship,” the statement continued.
The National Security Council provided few details about the discussion, but White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stressed that Israel will be regularly briefed on the administration’s “diplomatic track to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Biden seeks to revive the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal to stop Iran from getting a weapon, a strategy Israeli leaders oppose. The president also wants to avoid antagonizing Israel in this process.
“We feel the best path forward is a diplomatic path and that’s why we are working with our European partners to see what is possible along that front,” Psaki said.
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