Joe Biden arrives in Israel on his first tour of the Middle East

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Eighteen months after taking the White House, US President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday for his first tour of the Middle East, an area he has largely avoided until now. The goal of this trip is to strengthen ties with the two major American allies in the region, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

A new budget law for Joe Biden. The US President arrived in Israel on Wednesday July 13 for his first tour of the Middle East, during which he will have to manage the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tensions with Iran, and negotiations with the Saudi oil power. .

Air Force One landed in the middle of the afternoon on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, where Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid were waiting for Joe Biden.

>> To read: The death of Sherine Abu Akleh: Joe Biden is under pressure before his visit to Israel

Soon after he arrives, the Israeli military will immediately give him a demonstration of its technologies, including anti-drone lasers, a way to rally Washington in its diplomatic offensive against its number one enemy: Iran. “Talks (with Joe Biden) will focus first and foremost on Iran,” said Yair Lapid, interim prime minister until the snap elections on November 1 this week.

Joe Biden, a veteran of the American political scene, first visited Israel in 1973, when this country, under the leadership of Golda Meir, was an ally of Iran’s Shah. Today, Israel is trying to prevent Western powers, including the United States and France, from reviving the 2015 international agreement governing Iran’s nuclear program, which Donald Trump thwarted in 2018.


Tomorrow front page. © France 24

Resumption of diplomatic relations with Palestine

With US economic sanctions on Iran lifted, Israel fears the deal will amplify the Islamic Republic’s assistance to allies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas, much to Israel’s dismay.

Police will deploy about 16,000 men during Joe Biden’s visit and many roads in Israel and Jerusalem will be closed as police intersect in the city center.

On Jerusalem’s King David Street, where Joe Biden will be staying, pillars topped with American flags have been erected in the first visit by a US head of state since Republican Donald Trump in 2017.

To the dismay of the Palestinians, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US embassy there, a move that Democrat Joe Biden did not back down.

La question de Jérusalem est l’une des principales pierres d’achoppement du processus de paix israélo-palestinien suspendu depuis 2014. Les Palestiniens ambitionnent de faire de Jérusalem-Est, la partie orientale occupée par Israël depuis 1967, la future capital d’un condition. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday that Washington had re-established “almost severed diplomatic relations” with the Palestinians.

He listed the recovered financial support and Washington’s “categorical” support for the Palestinian and Israeli “two-state” solution. Joe Biden may announce economic aid to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem on Thursday.

The case of Sherine Abu Akleh

Despite the request, no meeting was planned with the family of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American journalist who was shot dead in May on the sidelines of an Israeli operation in the West Bank, the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

The United Nations, Al Jazeera, Qatar, Abu Aqla’s family and several press investigations confirmed that the bullet came from an Israeli soldier, a scenario considered “likely” by the United States, which ruled out the hypothesis of premeditated shooting.

In the absence of a meeting with Joe Biden in Jerusalem, the head of US diplomacy Anthony Blinken invited the Abu Akle family to the United States to meet with him.

It is scheduled to discuss Joe Biden Friday in Bethlehem in the West Bank with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. If he claims to take the opposite view of Donald Trump, the 79-year-old Democrat has not reopened the US Consulate in East Jerusalem, nor has he really sought to relaunch the peace process.

“So far, we only hear hollow words and we don’t see any results,” Jibril Rajoub of the Palestinian Authority told AFP.

Connecting Tel Aviv and Jeddah

Another important topic: the possibility, still entirely hypothetical, of normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Joe Biden will draw a symbolic link between the two countries with an unprecedented direct flight on Friday between Tel Aviv and Jeddah.

A senior Israeli official said, “President Biden’s travel directly to Saudi Arabia sums up the dynamics of the past few months… We hope and act so that this is the first step and the beginning of the normalization process.” Tuesday.

The Biden administration would also like to make Saudi Arabia, a strategic ally of the United States and the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, open its doors to calm the rise in black gold prices and calm inflation.

And Joe Biden in the campaign wanted to reduce this kingdom to a “pariah” rank after the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. After his election, a report was declassified concluding that the Crown Prince and the strongman in the kingdom, Mohammed bin Salman, known as “MBS”, had ” He confirmed the veracity of this crime. On Saturday in Jeddah, Joe Biden is expected to meet the same “MBS”.

with AFP

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