Netanyahu had ‘warm’ talk with Biden, Israel leader’s office says

Jerusalem (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a “warm conversation” with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday, Netanyahu’s office said, in a delayed and clear acknowledgement of Biden’s election defeat of the Israeli leader’s ally Donald Trump.

“The two agreed to meet soon to discuss the many issues that are pending and reaffirmed the need to continue to strengthen the strong alliance between the United States and Israel,” the Israeli statement said.

Netanyahu had congratulated Biden and running mate Kamala Harris on Twitter on Nov. 8, a day after the Democrat declared victory in the U.S. ballot.

However, in that message and subsequent public remarks, Netanyahu had refrained from referring to Biden as “president-elect”, in what was widely seen as Israel as an attempt to avoid angering Trump, who has challenged his rival’s victory.

But the statement issued after Netanyahu and Biden spoke used that term and said they had “a warm conversation” in which the president-elect “reiterated his deep commitment to the State of Israel and its security”.