President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday will hold their first face-to-face talks since Netanyahu took power in December.

The topics expected to be discussed include a potential Israel-Saudi normalization deal and Iran.

Biden had held off extending an invitation to Netanyahu out of concern about a judicial overhaul that curbs the power of judges as well as Israel's expansion of settlements.

Instead of meeting at the White House - Netanyahu's preferred venue - the two leaders ended up arranging their talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

US officials expect the judicial overhaul to come up in their conversations, as well as efforts to counter Iran's nuclear program and the possibility of what would be a major development - a normalization of Israel-Saudi relations.

The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been discussing a potential deal in which the Israelis and the Saudis would normalize diplomatic relations and Washington and Riyadh would agree on a defense pact but talks still have far to go.

Observers believe the Saudi deal's enormous potential has left Biden & Netanyahu little choice but to meet despite differences.

The Biden administration is calculating that the US could reap big rewards from such a mega-deal if it can overcome steep obstacles.

"Many of the elements of a pathway to normalization are now on the table. We don't have a framework; we don't have the terms ready to be signed. There is still work to do," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Sept. 7.

US officials have not ruled out an eventual White House meeting between Biden and Netanyahu.

Reporting by Reuters

More News

Chand Chand
News at a Glance
24 with Fardad
24 with Fardad

The Truth is in Your Voice

Send your Videos and Photos to us