President Joe Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday for his first foreign trip since he took office in January, according to the White House.
The trip to Israel is expected to be focused on diplomacy, as Biden works to re-establish close ties between Washington and Jerusalem, a relationship that became strained during the Trump administration.
The visit includes meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, as well as with other government officials from the region. The White House has said that Biden is keen to explore “ways to advance peace and security.”
The President also plans to meet with Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank. After his visit to Israel, Biden will travel to the United Kingdom for the G7 Summit.
Biden has already made clear his support for Israel since taking office, reaffirming the US commitment to Israeli security and the two countries’ close partnership. He has also sought to build bridges with the Palestinians, reversing some of Trump’s controversial policies that alienated them.
Biden will likely be hoping that his visit to Israel will help generate regional stability and facilitate diplomatic progress. Relations between Israel and the Palestinians have reached an impasse over issues such as borders and settlements, but there are hopes that his involvement in the process could help break the deadlock.
The President’s visit comes at a time of heightened tensions in the region. Israel has recently seen a surge in violence, with the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza being the worst in recent years.
Given this backdrop, Biden may be hoping his trip can have a calming effect on the region and reinvigorate peace efforts. It remains to be seen what progress he can make, but one thing is certain – the eyes of the world will be watching closely.