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Biden Meeting with Netanyahu in New York as U.S. Pushes for Saudi-Israeli Normalization

HeadlineSep 20, 2023

President Biden is meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. The Biden administration has criticized the gutting of the judiciary by Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government and its plans to expand illegal settlements, though it has not pulled back its $3.8 billion in annual military funding to Israel. The U.S. is also pushing a deal to fully normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The New York Times reports the Biden administration is in talks with Saudi Arabia over a mutual defense treaty that would resemble military pacts the U.S. has with Japan and South Korea. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is reportedly also seeking U.S. help to develop a civilian nuclear program. While campaigning for president, Biden vowed to make MBS a “pariah” over the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and human rights issues.

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