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Top Biden aide planning Israel trip as hard-right coalition takes power -source



FILE PHOTO: U.S. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is planning a trip to Israel this month after the formation of a new government topped by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a White House official said on Monday.

The meetings in Israel will come as Netanyahu’s new alliance with ultra-nationalists has worried White House officials about the prospects for worsening Israel’s relations with Palestinians. On Monday, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants during clashes near the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian sources said.

Biden is also working to find common ground with the new Israeli government on an approach to stalled Iranian nuclear talks and has been re-evaluating Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia.

Biden said on Thursday that he looked forward to working with Netanyahu, who he called “my friend for decades,” and committed “to support the two state solution and to oppose policies that endanger its viability or contradict our mutual interests and values.”

Dates for Sullivan’s meetings have not been set yet, said the administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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