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Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Lapid meet in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – The latest on US President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East (all time local):

JERUSALEM — US President Joe Biden began a one-on-one meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Their talks are at the center of a 48-hour visit by the US president aimed at strengthening the already close relationship between the two countries.

The leaders are expected to sign a joint declaration emphasizing military cooperation as well as their commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Commitments to Israel may have important symbolic meaning ahead of Biden’s meeting this weekend with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia as he seeks to strengthen a regional alliance against Iran.

Thursday’s meeting also gives a boost to Lapid, who is Israel’s interim prime minister until elections in November. Lapid’s main opponent is former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his joint appearance with Biden could help bolster his credentials as a statesman and leader.

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WASHINGTON — The widow of Jamal Khashoggi, the US-based writer killed by Saudi government agents four years ago, said Wednesday that she has received a commitment from President Joe Biden to raise the issue of the assassination when he meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The crown prince, whom Biden will meet for the first time in Jeddah on Friday, may have approved the killing, according to US intelligence.

Hanan Elatr Khashoggi, the slain writer’s widow, told Spectrum News she received assurances during a meeting with administration officials. “That’s what they said,” she said.

A White House official said Khashoggi’s widow spoke with a senior administration official earlier this week about Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia. The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, declined to provide details about the private conversation.

— Aamer Madhani

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.

Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Lapid meet in Jerusalem

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