In meeting with Herzog, Biden lauds Israel-Lebanon maritime deal

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

US President Joe Biden and President Isaac Herzog, during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
US President Joe Biden and President Isaac Herzog, during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

During a meeting at the White House with Israeli President Herzog, US President Biden highlights Israel’s maritime border agreement with Lebanon, which is expected to be finalized on Thursday.

“Tomorrow, Israel and Lebanon are going to sign an agreement to establish a permanent — permanent — maritime boundary,” Biden says, adding that it took “guts” for Israel to make the deal.

“I think it’s a historic breakthrough–it took a lot of courage for you to step up and step into it, and it took some real guts, and I think it took principle and persistent diplomacy to get it done,” he says.

“I compliment you and I compliment the government,” Biden says, adding that the deal should have significant benefits for both Israel and Lebanon.

Biden stresses Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel.
“I’ve often said, Mr. President, were there not an Israel, we’d have to invent one,” he says.

The two are now holding a meeting alongside US Secretary of State Blinken, US Ambassador to Israel Thom Nides, Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog and other top officials from both sides.

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