Lapid, Blinken work to ‘reset’ Israeli-US ties in jab at Netanyahu’s ‘mistakes’

“In the past few years, mistakes were made,” Lapid told Blinken in an apparent jab at the former Netanyahu government.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held their first meeting in Rome Sunday in what many are calling a “reset” of U.S.-Israel relations.

“In the past few years, mistakes were made,” Lapid told Blinken in an apparent jab at the former Netanyahu government. “Israel’s bipartisan standing was hurt. We will fix those mistakes together.”

In a recent phone call, Lapid and Blinken “talked at length about a wide range of strategic issues including the security and political situation in the region,” according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

“What they’re building now is mutual trust,” said Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. “I expect a change of tone rather than of substance… but there’s a possibility that it could produce something better for Israel.”

In contrast to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to managing U.S.-Israel ties during the Obama presidency, Lapid recently announced that he and Blinken had agreed to a “no-surprises” policy in an effort to keep the lines of communication open. The two are expected to discuss the issue Sunday in Rome. They are also expected to discuss U.S. negotiations to return to the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran and latest developments in the Middle East.

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Israel opposes the U.S. returning to the JCPOA nuclear agreement from which Washington withdrew in 2018. The sixth round of indirect U.S.-Iran talks in Vienna concluded in June, with a new round yet to be scheduled. Returning the U.S. to the nuclear deal is a foreign policy priority for the Biden administration, believing the agreement can be strengthened through talks.

While in Rome, Lapid will also meet with his Bahraini and Italian counterparts, Foreign Ministers Abdullatif al-Zayadi and Luigi di Maio respectively. Lapid is scheduled to make a landmark visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday as the first cabinet official to visit the Persian Gulf state since the signing of the Abraham Accords last year.

Further highlighting the Jerusalem-Washington reboot, outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is scheduled to visit the White House on Monday at President Joe Biden’s invitation. A group of House Democrats are planning an official trip to Israel as soon as Congress’ July 4th recess begins.

Associated Press contributed to this report.