WASHINGTON - U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, on Saturday, marking the first official contact between the Biden administration and the Israeli government.
The call between the two national security advisers, first reported by Axios and later confirmed by the White House, covered the Abraham Accords and affirmed that "the United States will closely consult with Israel on all matters of regional security." Sullivan also invited Ben-Shabbat "to begin a strategic dialogue in the near term to continue substantive discussions."
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U.S. Secretary of State-nominee Anthony Blinken called it "vitally important" that the U.S. consult with Israel on the matter, while Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Iran will be among the topics discussed in President Biden's initial phone calls with foreign leaders. Ron Klain, Biden's chief of staff, also said this week that the U.S. will consult with Israel among others prior to making any final decisions on how to proceed with Iran.
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Blinken also applauded the Abraham Accords during his hearings, saying that he "hopes that we have an opportunity to build on them going forward," while Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin noted during his confirmation hearing that they may put more pressure on Iran.
Haaretz reported Sunday that the U.S. is expected to soon begin deploying Israeli-produced Iron Dome missile defense systems at its bases in the Gulf states in order to defend its forces from attacks by Iran and its proxies.