US, Israel to hold first strategic consultative group meeting: White House

Washington and Tel Aviv will hold the first US-Israeli Strategic Consultative Group meeting on March 11, the White House announced Wednesday.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat will head the delegations of both sides, according to a statement from the White House.

“The discussion will focus on regional issues, building on the close consultations between the two sides over the past several months,” the White House said. “This meeting is part of the broader ongoing dialogue between the United States and Israel on the full range of issues of importance to the bilateral relationship, building on longstanding dialogues between our two nations under previous administrations.”

Thursday’s meeting will be some of the most high-level talks between the US and Israel since President Joe Biden took office.

Biden called tens of world leaders before speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House denied that Biden was “snubbing” the Israeli PM, who is up for reelection later this year.

Israel has also reportedly been frustrated with the pace at which the Biden administration is moving to facilitate direct talks with Iran, arguably Israel’s greatest national security concern.

During the Obama administration, Israel and Washington’s Gulf allies were not included in negotiations that led to the Iran nuclear deal.

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