Jake Sullivan talks with Israeli National Security Advisor for the first time


US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone with his Israeli counterpart Mir Ben Shabbat on Saturday, Israeli officials told Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. During the transition, the Biden team avoided talking to foreign governments.

Driving news: Israeli officials said the call was made primarily as an introduction and to close the negotiations.

  • One of the issues discussed was Iran.
  • Two national security advisors also covered the Abraham Accord – the Bible Branding Administration has given individual normalization agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
  • In recent times, Sullivan made calls to his counterparts in the UK, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
  • The White House did not comment on the phone with Israel’s national security adviser.

big picture: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about President Biden’s stated goal of trying to restart the nuclear deal with Iran. Such a move could cause tension between the Biden administration and the Israeli government.

  • Secretary of State Tony Blinken said at his confirmation in this week’s hearing that “there is a long way to go” until the Iran deal can be resumed.
  • He insisted that the US consult with Israel and the Gulf states before taking any decision

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