White House denies Biden is snubbing Israel’s Netanyahu
The White House on Friday denied that U.S. President Joe Biden was intentionally snubbing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by failing to include him so far in an early round of phone calls to foreign leaders since taking office on Jan. 20.
The lack of direct contact between the Democratic president and the long-serving right-wing premier has fueled speculation in Israel and among Middle East experts that the new administration may be signaling its displeasure over the close ties Netanyahu forged with Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
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Biden’s refusal to call Israeli PM Netanyahu sparks questions over leaders’ relationship
12 February 2021
US President Joe Biden’s seeming reluctance to call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu more than three weeks after taking office is raising questions about the possible message the US leader could be trying to send.
Having made at least 11 calls to foreign leaders, including a two-hour conversation with the president of China, Biden has taken heat for failing to reach out to Netanyahu as his first month in office comes close to an end.
Former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama both reached out to Israel’s prime minister within the first two days of being sworn in.
Continue reading at www.middleeasteye.net
White House launches review of Guantanamo Bay prison
Feb. 12, 2021
The Biden administration is launching a review of the prison at Guantanamo Bay Military Base in Cuba with the goal of shuttering the facility, the White House said Friday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday that the “goal and intention” of the new administration is to close the military prison by the time that President Biden leaves office. She said the National Security Council (NSC) is undertaking a review of the prison known as Gitmo.
“We are undertaking an NSC process … to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration, we have inherited from the previous administration,” Psaki said, noting that a number of officials who will be part of such a process still need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Continue reading at thehill.com