Israel PM Netanyahu says he had an hourlong phone call with Biden

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on January 22, 2017.

Ronen Zvulun | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden had a lengthy phone call Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s leader announced in a statement.

“The conversation was very warm and friendly and continued for approximately one hour,” Netanyahu’s statement said, NBC News reported.

Netanyahu shared that statement in a pair of tweets written in Hebrew, along with a photo of the smiling prime minister holding a phone to his ear.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden’s first call to a Middle East leader would be with Netanyahu. The call signals that the new U.S. administration aims to maintain the close ties to Israel that were strengthened during Donald Trump’s presidency.

The White House did not immediately provide a readout of Biden’s call with the prime minister.

Netanyahu’s statement said that he and Biden “noted their longstanding personal connection and said that they would work together to continue strengthening the steadfast alliance between Israel and the U.S.”

“President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the future advancement of the peace accords, the Iranian threat and regional challenges, and agreed to continue their dialogue.”

Biden also “commended Prime Minister Netanyahu on his leadership in the fight against the coronavirus,” Netanyahu’s statement said, adding that “the two exchanged ideas on ways to deal with the pandemic.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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