Foreign Minister Yair Lapid took off to Washington on Monday night for a series of high-level meetings and a celebration of the Abraham Accords.
The three-day trip includes a trilateral meeting and press conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, marking a year since the Abraham Accords were announced, establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE. They will also have dinner together.
Lapid is expected to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and to hold a separate meeting with Blinken.
Iran is the top item on the agenda for Lapid’s meetings with US officials. He seeks to encourage action against Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran has been advancing while sending mixed messages about whether it will return to indirect negotiations with the US.
While the US and Israel disagree on the value of negotiating with Iran – the Biden administration favors a return to the 2015 nuclear deal – there are other areas in which Lapid believes Israel and the US see eye-to-eye, such as countering Iran’s missile program, its drones and its presence on Israel’s northern border.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2020 (credit: AL DRAGO/REUTERS)
Lapid is also set to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as well as “representatives of the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties,” his spokesperson said.
The foreign minister plans to emphasize the importance of bilateral support for Israel, and try to bolster support on the Left by focusing on shared values and interests between the US, as well as cooperation on climate, the environment, water and technology.
Lapid also plans to meet with AIPAC’s leadership and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in Washington.
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