Biden Will Find a Changed Middle East on His Coming Visit

(New York Times) Patrick Kingsley - When President Biden arrives in the Middle East on Wednesday on his first visit as American head of state, he will find a region where alliances, priorities and relations with the U.S. have shifted significantly since his last official trip, six years ago. His visit to Israel is expected to focus on Israel's fast-strengthening ties with Arab countries and an emerging Arab-Israeli military partnership to combat threats from Iran. When Biden last visited Israel in 2016 as vice president, the country had diplomatic ties with just two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan. "U.S. engagement, let alone presidential involvement, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer a priority," said Alon Pinkas, an Israeli former consul general in New York. "An Israeli-Gulf, counter-Iranian coalition is far more important to the U.S. than solving the conflict." Biden and his Israeli hosts are expected to discuss strengthening military coordination between Israel, its new Arab allies and the U.S. The system allows the participating armies to communicate in real time about aerial threats from Iran and its proxies, and has already been used to help bring down several drones, according to Israeli officials.

2022-07-11 00:00:00

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