WASHINGTON (JTA) — Joe Biden discussed Middle East peace and Iran in a phone call with Tzipi Livni.
The U.S. vice president-elect spoke to the Israeli foreign minister after last week’s elections, said a statement released Tuesday by Livni’s office.
Biden, a a senator from Delaware for 35 years, is expected to take a lead foreign policy role in the Barack Obama administration. He is well known to Israeli leaders, having made his first visit to the region just before the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
“Livni thanked Vice President-elect Biden for his long-standing friendship and support of Israel, and said that she looks forward to continuing to work with him,” the statement said. “They agreed to work together to advance the shared interests and values of Israel and the United States in the Middle East.”
The statement emphasized concerns about Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program and control of the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists.
"It is very important that we continue our cooperation and work together against the Iranian threat,” it quoted Livni as saying. “Time is not working in favor of the moderates in Iran. Hamas and the extremist elements are studying our moves and they must understand that the world will not tolerate extremism and terror."
Livni is leading the centrist Kadima Party in Feb. 10 elections.