Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday urged new U.S. President Joe Biden to "strengthen" a long-standing alliance between the two countries, partly in order to confront the "threat" posed by Iran.
"I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance, to continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran," Netanyahu said in a video congratulating Biden.
Netanyahu reminded the President Biden of their 40-year friendship and said he was looking forward to working together.
The prime minister also said he looked forward to forging more agreements with Arab nations and to a cooperation between Israel and the United States in face of mutual challenges, Iran being top of the list.
President Reuven Rivlin added his words of congratulations, saying: "On behalf of the people of Israel, let me send you our very best wishes to you and to Vice President Harris and your families, and to all the American people on this important day."
Earlier the prime minister posted a farewell message to Donald Trump expressing his appreciation him for what he said the former president had done for Israel and the Middle East.
"Thank you for all the great things you have done for Israel, especially your historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and bringing four peace agreements between Israel and the Arab world," the prime minister said in a post on his Twitter feed.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also congratulated the president, calling him a friend to Israel.
"I am certain that our unwavering alliance will continue to serve the greater goals of a more stable and prosperous Middle East, and a more peaceful world," Gant said in a Twitter post.
Biden did not mention the Middle East in his inaugural speech, but his designated secretary of state Antony Blinken said during his confirmation hearing that the new administration would be willing to resume negotiations with Iran on a nuclear agreement provided Tehran abided by the terms of the deal reached in 2015.
"If Iran comes back into compliance, we would too,” he told the hearing. “But we would use that as a platform with our allies and partners, who would once again be on the same side with us, to seek a longer and stronger agreement,” he said.
Blinken also said he believed a two-state solution, "is still the best and probably the only way to truly assure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, and of course, to give the Palestinians the state to which they are entitled.”