Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden have 'warm conversation,' agree to meet soon

November 18, 2020 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an ally of President Trump, had a "warm conversation" with President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday as he joined the ranks of world leaders who've acknowledged his election win, according to a report.

"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," Netanyahu's office said in a statement, Reuters reported.

Biden's transition team said in a statement: "The president-elect thanked the prime minister for his congratulations and reiterated his steadfast support for Israel's security and its future as a Jewish and democratic state."

On Nov. 8, Netanyahu congratulated Biden and running mate Kamala Harris after the Democrat declared victory. The Israeli leader also thanked Trump -- who is contesting the election results -- for his friendship toward the Jewish state.

Netanyahu had refrained earlier from referring to Biden as "president-elect," but the statement released Tuesday did use that term.

President Donald Trump arrives at the Israel accompanied by Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuAFP via Getty Images

President Reuven Rivlin also congratulated Biden on Tuesday and called him a "long-standing friend" of Israel, according to a spokesman for the Israeli president, whose role is mostly ceremonial.

The Biden transition team said in a statement that the president-elect "looks forward to working with Israel to build an ever stronger partnership between our two countries."

Earlier Tuesday, Netanyahu was noncommittal when asked on local radio who he believed won the US election.

"Why do I have to express an opinion?" he answered. "They have an internal process, the Electoral College. I think everybody more or less understands what ... is apparently going to happen officially."

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