Lapid meets Blinken, laments ‘mistakes’ made in Israel-US ties in recent years

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Rome, hailing the ties between Israel and America.

But in an apparent criticism of former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, who had frosty ties with Democratic president Barack Obama and a close relation with Republican president Donald Trump, Lapid laments what he calls recent “mistakes” in Israel’s ties with the US.

“In recent years, mistakes were made. Israel’s bipartisan status was hurt. We will fix this together,” Lapid is quoted saying in a statement from his office.

Lapid says he spoke with both Democratic and Republican leaders in the past few days to underscore the shared values between the countries.

He also acknowledges “disagreements” between the countries, such as on a possible US return to the nuclear accord limiting Iran’s nuclear program, saying that Israel has “serious reservations” about a restored deal.

“We think that the place to deliberate these disagreements is in direct professional dialogue, not press conferences,” he says.

The meeting is the first between the two since Lapid became foreign minister, earlier this month, with the swearing-in of his power-sharing government with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

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