Netanyahu speaks with Pelosi about 2-state solution, pandemic

Speaker of US House says she spoke to premier to ‘reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations’

Luke Tress is a video journalist and tech reporter for the Times of Israel

Nancy Pelosi with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May 2009 (Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)
Nancy Pelosi with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May 2009 (Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday.

Pelosi said she spoke to Netanyahu to “reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations & Congress’s unwavering support for a safe & secure Israel.”

“We discussed COVID response & our shared hope for regional peace, including a just, stable & enduring 2-state solution,” Pelosi said on Twitter.

There was no immediate statement from Jerusalem about the call.

Pelosi has been a vocal supporter of Israel but has also sparred with Netanyahu, including over his policies toward settlements and Iran.

Netanyahu was close to former US president Donald Trump, a bitter domestic foe of Pelosi, and the premier was largely seen as aligning with the Republican party.

In 2019, Pelosi said the US-Israel relationship could withstand the “weakness” of both Trump and Netanyahu, after the prime minister shook diplomatic norms by barring two far-left members of Congress from visiting Israel.

Netanyahu spoke to Biden for the first time last week after four weeks of waiting that raised speculation of a rift between Washington and Jerusalem.

Netanyahu and the Biden administration have not publicly quarreled but are at odds over the US approach to Iran and settlements.

Biden has said he intends to re-enter the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, setting him and Netanyahu on a potential collision course. Netanyahu strongly opposed the deal when it was made, and hailed Trump’s decision to quit it in 2018.

A Wednesday report said the two sides will launch strategic discussions on Iran in the coming days that will focus on the two nations’ intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program.

Netanyahu had a famously acrimonious relationship with former US president Barack Obama, whose vice president was Biden.

Pelosi has criticized Netanyahu for a famous 2015 speech in which Netanyahu spoke to Congress to oppose the Iran deal, without an invitation from the president.

Biden has had a warm relationship with Netanyahu for decades and has longstanding ties to Israel and other Israeli leaders.

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