US President Joe Biden is "looking forward" to speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.
When asked if there is any update as to whether or not Biden has called Netanyahu yet, she explained that although Biden was looking forward to their conversation, he had not yet called up Israel's prime minister. "I can assure you that will be soon, but I don’t have a specific time or deadline — or time or date for when that will occur," Psaki said.
She additionally reassured the public that the noticeable waiting time for the phone call is "not an intentional diss."
"Prime Minister Netanyahu is someone the President has known for some time," Psaki explained. "Obviously, we have a long and important relationship with Israel, and the President has known him and has been working on a range of issues that there’s a mutual commitment to for some time. It is just a reflection of the fact that we have been here for three and a half weeks, he’s not called every single global leader yet, and he is eager to do that in the weeks ahead."
The journalist who had asked the initial question insisted that it is a noticeable gap since Biden has "called every other major ally in Europe and in Asia," to which Psaki responded, "He’s called many of them. That is true. Some would argue they haven’t received calls yet, and they are still eager to receive them. But I can assure you he will be speaking with the Prime Minister soon, and he’s looking forward to doing that."
She further clarified that she was not sure what the timeframe would be before the two leaders speak.
Psaki was additionally asked about the discussion between Israel's National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, which was meant to discuss Iran, but she said that she had no information to read out at the time.
"We've only been here three and a half weeks," she emphasized when asked about Biden's plans for Middle East policy, particularly relating to the Abraham Accords. "I think I'm going to let those policy processes see themselves through before we give, kind of, a complete laydown of what our national security approaches will be to a range of issues."