By Trevor Hunnicutt and Matt Spetalnick
August 27, 2021
WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in White House talks on Friday that he was putting “diplomacy first” to try to rein in Iran’s nuclear program but if negotiations fail he would be prepared to turn to other unspecified options.
After a one-day delay due to a deadly suicide bombing in Kabul during the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan, Biden and Bennett held their first meeting seeking to reset U.S.-Israeli relations and narrow differences over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear developments.
Tensions complicated relations between Bennett’s predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was close to former President Donald Trump, and the last Democratic administration led by Barack Obama with Biden as his vice president.
But the meeting, the first since Biden and Bennett took office this year, was eclipsed by Thursday’s attack outside Kabul airport that killed at least 92 people, including 13 U.S. service members, confronting Biden with the worst crisis of his young presidency.
“The mission there … is dangerous and now it’s come with a significant loss of American personnel, but it’s a worthy mission,” Biden told reporters after his one-on-one talks with Bennett.
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