Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
3:48 P.M. EDT
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Foreign Minister Lapid, welcome. It is good to see you again. The last time we saw each other was in 2017 at the Knesset, when I was there in Israel. And it is my honor to welcome you during this visit. We have a lot to discuss.
But, most importantly, is — this occasion is an occasion, yet again, to reaffirm the strength and the endurance of the relationship between the United States and Israel — a relationship that is unwavering, a relationship that is based on shared values, shared history, and a shared concern for the mutual safety and security of the people of our two countries. So, welcome.
We will also discuss, of course, what we must do to strengthen those relationships and to strengthen, in particular, security concerns that Israel always has had and continues to have, and our commitment to ensure the security of the people of Israel.
We will discuss a number of other issues that include also shared prosperity for the people of our countries; as well as we will discuss the issue of peace, security, and prosperity for Palestinians as well as Israelis, and, of course, the regional challenges that we face and our shared concern as it relates to Iran and as it relates to our support for the Abraham Accords and, of course, as it relates to Israel’s relationship with your neighbors. And again, the Abraham Accords is something that the President and I strongly support.
And we thank you, again, for this visit. And I look forward to our conversation.
FOREIGN MINISTER LAPID: Thank you so much, Madam Vice President. I’m happy to be here with one of the best friends Israel has in Washington — a leader that’s been next to us in all the important struggles, and we can always count on — we could always count on you in the difficult moments.
And this friendship is based on shared values on democracy, liberty, human rights, the respect to those who are different from you, wherever they come from. And even when we have differences, know that our goal is common, which is to see Israel strong, secure, and thriving.
And we also believe, all of us, as you said, that the Palestinians are entitled to have a quality of life in economy, in education, and hope.
And the dialogue between us is always based on facts. And when we met in Israel, it’s because you came to see with your own eyes the difficulties and understand the complexities so you know us and we know you. And this explains the strength of the bond.
It’s true that the center of my visit is the Iranian nuclear program, but it deals with one more thing, which is strengthening the bipartisan relation with the next generation of young Americans. And this generation is not only preoccupied with wars and conflict, but also with the climate crisis, the global immigration crisis, and questions of identity.
And in order to build a strategy for the next hundred years, we need to explore together those issues and to shape together a new world, new global architecture.
So, Madam Vice President, thank you for the friendship and thank you for the seriousness, and thank you for long-lasting years of supporting Israel’s security and Israel’s democracy.
Thank you so much.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you. Thank you.
END 3:52 P.M. EDT