PM Netanyahu with Vice President Joe Biden. (Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90) (Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90)
Netanyahu Biden

Netanyahu confirmed that preparations for a potential visit by the American Vice President in Israel are underway.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that US Vice President Joe Biden is on his way to Israel, and his staffers are arriving in Israel ahead of his possible visit.

At a Cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu cited media reports that Biden was considering visiting Israel in the coming days. He said Biden’s staff is landing in Israel Sunday, but dates for a visit have not been set.

“It is clear that Vice President Biden is a welcome guest in Israel anytime he decides to come here,” Netanyahu said.

Last month, Biden met Netanyahu in Davos, Switzerland shortly after the US lifted sanctions on Iran as part of a nuclear deal. The US has sought to soften Israel’s concerns on the deal through discussions about a new long-term agreement on US military aid for Israel.

Biden’s last visit to Israel sparked a diplomatic spat with Washington in 2010, when Israel announced Jerusalem construction plans during Biden’s visit.

Israel and EU Agree to Put Relations Back on Track

Also during the Sunday meeting, Netanyahu confirmed that Israel and the European Union (EU) have reached on an understanding, ending a months-long diplomatic crisis.

“Israel and the European Union have agreed to put relations between us back on track,” the premier declared.

“In the conversation I had over the weekend with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, I heard from her that the EU is opposed to any boycott of Israel, and about their action regarding product labeling, she defined it as non-binding and said that it does not reflect their position regarding the final borders of the State of Israel, which can be determined – this is what she said – only in direct negotiations between the sides,” he explained.

While the EU will not rescind its directive to label products coming out of Judea and Samaria, singling them out for boycotts, it will not push the policy, and there are reports that the EU has offered a form of compensation for the damages Israel might incur in return for the renewal of their suspended diplomatic activities and involvement in a possible diplomatic resolution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Though there will probably still be friction in the future, “Israel, as a representative of democratic values, is entitled to receive support from Europe and not just criticism, and I think that this step is welcome,” Netanyahu said, adding that the fact that Mogherini has “come out strongly against BDS and against economic sanctions against Israel, is – of course – a step in the right direction.”

By: AP and United with Israel Staff