Foreign Minister Yair Lapid held a phone call on Tuesday with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the first since he took over as Israel’s top diplomat earlier this month.
“The two had a warm and positive conversation and discussed the importance of bipartisan support for Israel in the United States,” according to the Foreign Ministry. Lapid “thanked Pelosi for her longstanding support of Israel and the two agreed to remain in touch,” according to the statement.
Pelosi tweeted that she was “very pleased to talk with” Lapid and that the pair “discussed the strong relationship and shared values between our two countries.”
Lapid has set improving Israel’s ties with the Democratic Party as one of his top goals as foreign minister after the relationship was battered during former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s time in office.
In his maiden speech after taking over as foreign minister last week, Lapid vowed to undo the damage he said Netanyahu caused by cozying up to former president Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
“The management of the relationship with the Democratic Party in the United States was careless and dangerous,” Lapid said last week in a handover ceremony at the Foreign Ministry.
“The Republicans are important to us, their friendship is important to us, but not only the friendship of the Republican Party. We find ourselves with a Democratic White House, Senate and House and they are angry. We need to change the way we work with them.”
In a call on Monday with Democratic Majority for Israel, Lapid reiterated that “reinvigorating Israel’s relationship with Democrats is one of his central objectives.”
Lapid “emphasized his enthusiasm for working closely with the Biden administration, and conveyed his deep appreciation for the warm reception the new Israeli government received from the administration, as well as for its unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” according to DMFI.
The new foreign minister also “indicated that Israel will continue to find ways to benefit all the people of the region, and narrow the conflict with the Palestinians.”
DMFI is an organization that seeks to strengthen support for Israel in the Democratic Party. It is led by Mark Mellman, who has served as Lapid’s senior strategist since the Yesh Atid chairman entered politics.