President of the United States Joe Biden landed in Israel Wednesday afternoon for his first visit to the country while in office. The two countries announced a new strategic partnership in advanced technology just before President Biden’s plane landed at Ben Gurion International airport.
The President was greeted by the President of Israel Isaac Herzog and the country’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid. He was also greeted by former Prime Miniter Naftali Bennett who only recently stepped down from office and now serves under the title of alternate prime minister.
The arrival ceremony included the usual red carpet spread out to Air Force One and the IDF band performing both nations’ national anthems.
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Yair Lapid declared that this was a historic visit because it expresses the “unbreakable bond between our two countries. Lapid also mentioned a major issue for Israel, the continued threat to global safety posed by Iran. He added that the leaders would work to “renew a strong global coalition that will stop the Iranian nuclear program.”
President Joe Biden mentioned that this is his tenth visit to Israel, calling every chance to do so a blessing. “The connection between the American people and the Israeli people is bone deep,” he said. “Generation after generation that connection grows.”
“We are going to deepen our connections,” declared Joe Biden. And he also pledged to help to expand Israel’s continuing integration into the Middle East international community.
Israel said that the new partnership will put the country “shoulder-to-shoulder” with its leading ally, the United States. He also called the President one of the best friends Israel has ever known.
“May Israel and the United States continue to grow together for the benefit of the entire world,” the President concluded.
As for the new partnership between Israel and the US, it is being called a strategic “High-Level Dialogue on Technology” which will be established by the countries’ national security advisers that will focus on strategic technologies (artificial intelligence, quantum, and solutions to global challenges such as climate change and improving pandemic preparedness.)
President Biden and Prime Minister Lapid released a joint statement on the partnership.
In the declaration, the leaders expressd their commitment to deepening bilateral engagements, strengthening their mutual innovation ecosystems, advancing critical emerging technologies, finding innovative solutions to global challenges and promoting a shared agenda in the global arena.
The initial American delegation for advancing the Strategic High-Level Dialogue on Technology is expected to visit Israel in the coming months in order to discuss joint initiatives in: Artificial intelligence, quantum, dealing with climate change and improving pandemic preparedness.
The goal of the joint declaration is to express the special relationship between the US and Israel, anchor the partnership between the two countries and position Israel alongside its leading ally the US in the field of technology, which tops the international agenda. The joint declaration also affirms the two countries’ commitment to expanding cooperation in additional fields and dealing with technological challenges as a basis for the integration of significant forces that will shape the coming decade.
Prime Minister Lapid said, “This joint announcement puts Israel at the forefront of global innovation and solidifies its status as a leading technological power. Our vision for one million people in hi-tech begins with international cooperation that will bring new opportunities for the hi-tech sector in Israel.”
The new partnership will cover a number of issues. One will be pandemic preparedness – exploring cooperative technology R&D ventures, including technology for disease surveillance and early warning, and for rapid medical countermeasure responses (within 60-90 days).
Then there is the matter of the ongoing climate change crisis. There will be cooperative R&D ventures and/or deploying technologies to drive equitable climate solutions (e.g., water reuse, solid waste management, clean and renewable energy). The main goal of these ventures is the development of tools capable of having an impact on the global climate crisis.
There will also be cooperative efforts on artificial intelligence technologies in transportation, medicine, agriculture, regulation, and public sector ethics and in the field of quantum information science.
They emphasized that Israel will be the fourth country (after Great Britain, Australia and Japan) that has a similar partnership with the US in the fields of AI and quantum. This is indicative of Israel’s economic resilience and its status as a leading country in the fields of technology and innovation.