By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — January 30, 2023 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and made the following remarks:
“Secretary of State Blinken, Tony, welcome once again to Jerusalem.
Your visit is another expression, a continual expression, of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States. It’s one of the great alliances of modern history. We share common interests which are growing by the day. We share common values. Two strong democracies which will remain, I assure you, two strong democracies. This alliance is something that President Biden is committed to. I’ve known him for 40 years. He’s a true friend of Israel. A true champion of this alliance, as are you.
I am not sure that all of Israel know your own contribution in helping us with missile defense in times of peril. You’ve actually helped us during one crisis in record time and then did so again. And you’ve also just helped us push back on the attempts to delegitimize Israel at the United Nations and we’re grateful for that and for your continual friendship.
Your visit comes at an important time. It’s a time where many in the international community, I would say most of the international community, have seen the true face of Iran. They’ve seen the barbarism of this regime against its own people. They’ve seen how it exports aggression beyond its border and beyond the Middle East. And I think there’s a common consensus that this regime must not acquire nuclear weapons. We’ve had very good discussions on forging a common policy, on trying to work together to thwart the danger.
I can repeat again something that you’ve heard me say many times, our policy and my policy is to do everything within Israel’s power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them and that will remain so. But obviously the fact that we and the United States are working together is something that is important for this common goal as well.
In addition to thwarting the danger, we also see an opportunity to seize opportunities. The opportunities of expanding the circle of peace. We intend to deepen the peace that we’ve already made in the Abraham Accords. We’ve discussed some of the initiatives that we are considering doing together but also perhaps to achieve dramatic breakthroughs that I think could be both historic and enormously significant in our common efforts to bring prosperity, security and peace to this part of the world and beyond.
So with this in mind I have to tell you that I also believe that expanding the circle of peace, working to close, finally, the file of the Arab-Israeli conflict I think would also help us achieve a workable solution with our Palestinian neighbors.
For all these reasons, I welcome you once again to Jerusalem.