UPDATED 12:07 PM PT – Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is in Washington D.C. to hold meetings with U.S. officials. The former news anchor arrived Tuesday amid the revival of Iran nuclear talks. Lapid was welcomed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a joint press conference.
“It is a privilege to talk about the importance of the U.S.-Israel bond,” said the Speaker. “It is one that is based on our mutual security. It is based on our mutual values and it is, again, something that that is a source of pride to all of us in the Congress who’ve worked on this.”
Lapid thanked Pelosi while calling her a great friend of Israel and agreed that support for Israel was a bipartisan issue. While at the podium, Lapid elaborated on the purpose of his visit.
“We all need and can unite around this basic principle that Israel has the right to defend itself and the Palestinians deserve a better life,” he stated. “And we all can unite around the idea that we will never let Iran become a nuclear threshold country.”
As House Speaker, it is my official honor to welcome His Excellency @YairLapid, Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel, to the United States Capitol today ahead of a bipartisan leadership meeting. pic.twitter.com/tNTM4811ow
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 12, 2021
After pleasantries with Pelosi, the foreign minister met with Vice President Kamala Harris. During their meeting, Harris voiced her support for the Trump-era agreement that normalized diplomatic relations between Israel and the Muslim countries of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
“And of course, the regional challenges that we face and our shared concern as it relates to Iran and as it relates to our support for the Abraham Accords, and of course as it relates to Israel’s relationship with your neighbors,” said Harris. “And again, the Abraham Accords is something that the President and I strongly support.”
Lapid, however, was not just focused on the issues at hand, but also the future of the two countries.
“And in order to build a strategy for the next hundred years, we need to explore together those issues and to shape together a new world,” he stated. “The new global architecture.”
Lapid also referred to Harris as one of Israel’s greatest friends in Washington. There was no mention of several Democrat Party members’ vocal support of Palestine earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Lapid is set to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UAE diplomats before leaving the U.S. Thursday. The foreign minister will succeed Naftali Bennet as prime minister of Israel in 2023 due to an agreement between the two to form a government.