US President Joe Biden has landed in Tel Aviv, Israel on his first visit to the Middle East in his current role.
When Biden arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday, he was greeted warmly by Israeli officials and in a speech described the US connection with the country as “bone deep”.
“You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist,” Biden said in his opening remarks. “The connection between the Israeli and American people runs deep… I am proud to say that the US relationship with Israel is deeper and stronger than it has ever been.”
The US leader also reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called Joe a “great Zionist” in a speech.”Your relationship with Israel has always been personal,” Lapid said.
It is Joe tenth visit to the country. His first was in 1973 when he was the first U.S. Senator for Delaware.
Biden will spend two days in Jerusalem meeting with Israeli leaders, including Lapid and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before meeting Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank on Friday.