Lapid meets US Secretary of State: I know we can count on you

Lapid to Blinken: Israel has some serious reservations about the Iran nuclear deal. We believe the way to discuss those disagreements is through direct and professional conversations.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Lapid and Blinken
Lapid and Blinken
Stefano Meloni, spokeman for Israeli embassy in Rome

Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid met on Sunday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Rome.

At the start of the meeting, Lapid said, “Secretary Blinken and I represent new administrations, his a few months old, mine only a few weeks. But we also represent a very long and strong tradition of close friendship and cooperation. There is no relationship more important to Israel than the United States of America. There is no friend more loyal to the United States than Israel.”

“In the past few years mistakes were made. Israel's bi-partisan standing was hurt. We will fix those mistakes together,” he added.

“In the past few days, I spoke with a series of American leaders, both Democrats and Republicans. I reminded them all that Israel shares America's most basic values – freedom, democracy, free markets, the constant search for peace,” continued Lapid.

“In the struggle for those values, Secretary Blinken is a great friend and a great partner. Like me, he grew up in the home of a Holocaust survivor, who always said that the world has a responsibility to ensure Israel's peace and security. Mr. Secretary, I know we can count on you,” he said.

“We will have disagreements, but they are not about the essence, they are about how to get there. We want the same things; we sometimes disagree about how to achieve them,” Lapid told Blinken.

On the Iranian nuclear deal, the Foreign Minister said, “Israel has some serious reservations about the Iran nuclear deal being put together in Vienna. We believe the way to discuss those disagreements is through direct and professional conversations, not in press conferences.”

“Mr. Secretary,” he added, “this is also the time to thank the United States for its support for Israel's normalization efforts in the region. In a couple of days, I will make the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the United Arab Emirates. That visit will be historic and I hope it will be the first of many.”

“I look forward to working with you to widen the circle of peace in our region. That is the best way to bring stability and prosperity to the Middle East. We will discuss a range of issues which concern Israel, including strengthening our ability to defend ourselves, working to minimize conflict between us and the Palestinians, while making life better for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

On the building collapse disaster in Miami, Lapid said, “Before I finish, I'd like to take this opportunity, and I know Mr. Secretary that you will join me, to send our prayers to all those affected by the collapse of the building in Miami. Our deepest condolences to the families of those killed in this terrible tragedy.”