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Biden, Netanyahu mend fences with Saudi deal in mind

Biden met Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York
— United Nations (United States) (AFP)

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday to smooth over months of tension, eyeing a deal to normalize Israel's ties with Saudi Arabia despite US concerns over the state of Israeli democracy.

Biden said the pair had a "candid, constructive conversation" in New York, their first talks since the Israeli prime minister was reelected in December at the head of a hard-right government.

The fence-mending meeting comes as the US president pushes Netanyahu to agree on a potentially historic deal to end decades of enmity with Riyadh, one of Washington's main regional allies.

And while Netanyahu was not hosted at the White House this time due to Biden's concerns over his government's controversial judicial overhaul, he won a coveted invitation to Washington later this year.

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