Israel’s new Prime Minister has told President Joe Biden he will not publicly oppose the US rejoining a deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, reversing a long policy that has soured relations between the allies.
Naftali Bennett, 49, in his first White House meeting since taking office in June, reportedly told Mr Biden that while he was opposed to the US re-entering the accord with Tehran he would not say so in public.
“Prime Minister Bennett told the President that regardless of policy differences he wants to work according to rules of honesty and decency,” an Israeli official at the weekend meeting told the Axios website.
Mr Bennett, who is on the right of Israeli politics, leads a coalition that spans the political spectrum and includes Arab parties.
It is believed that he told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he wanted to manage his relationship with the US like he managed his coalition.
“If you have an issue with something we do, call us and don’t go to the press,” he said.
Mr Biden, 78, has a history of being pro-Israel and his administration is unlikely to reverse many of the decisions Donald Trump made that pleased Mr Bennett’s predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. The White House meeting on Friday (Saturday AEST) was followed by a communique suggesting warmer relations than those between Mr Biden and Mr Netanyahu.