US Ambassador to the UN will arrive in Israel tomorrow

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield will arrive in Israel on Monday, making her the first member of US President Joe Biden’s cabinet to visit the new government in Jerusalem.

Thomas-Greenfield is expected to meet with President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Transport Minister Merav Michaeli, with whom he shares a focus on empowerment. feminine.

She will be accompanied by Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, on the trip, which will also include a visit to Yad Vashem, as well as a security-focused tour of the Gaza and Lebanon borders, led by the IDF deputy chief. Herzy Halevy staff.

Thomas-Greenfield said in a briefing on Friday that visiting Israel has been one of his top priorities.

“The Biden administration is committed to defending Israel from time-consuming unilateral and biased resolutions in UN bodies, and I am proud to defend Israel in the Security Council,” the ambassador said.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, and the United States’ Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield (credit: ISRAEL AT THE UN)

The statement came days after the United States voted against most articles in a package of resolutions against Israel, but abstained on one related to support for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and his descendants, which included support for what his supporters call the “right of return.”

She said the United States is “working diligently with the Israelis and with the Palestinian Authority, other regional partners and the UN to increase humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in a way that addresses Israel’s legitimate security concerns,” and provided more than $ 218 million to UNRWA in 2021. To that end.

Thomas-Greenfield said he also hopes to discuss a positive agenda at the UN, including making the Abraham Accords felt, as well as targeting Israel’s full participation in the UN system.

However, when asked whether the United States will encourage Israel to join UNESCO, which both countries left in the previous administration due to their politicization against Israel, Thomas did not have an answer. The Biden administration has said it will rejoin the UN’s education and culture organization.

However, he did “point out that since America’s withdrawal from UNESCO, we’ve seen that a lot of our adversaries have really exploited the vacuum we leave to advance their own authoritarian agenda in the organization. And we don’t think that’s in the United States. o The interest of Israel “.

Regarding Iran, which is expected to return to indirect talks with the United States later this month to join the 2015 nuclear deal, Thomas-Greenfield said that Iran’s “nuclear activities beyond the limits of the JCPOA .. They only isolate Iran internationally and will not provide Iran with any negotiating lever. “

Thomas-Greenfield also said that visiting Yad Vashem is important to her, as part of her work to “combat anti-Semitism and other forms of hate around the world and as we constantly raise our voices to say never again.”

When asked about the Biden administration’s goal of reopening the US consulate serving Palestinians in Jerusalem, he made no comment.

The ambassador will also visit Ramallah and Amman on her trip to the region.

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