Biden and Lapid meet in Washington

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Yair Lapid, the Israeli finance minister, met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials.

Lapid, who was in Washington to attend a round of World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings, met Thursday with Biden, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Phil Gordon, the White House Middle East coordinator.

“In a wide ranging conversation, the Vice President and Minister Lapid discussed Israel’s economy as well as regional issues, including recent developments with regard to Iran, Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, and the importance of strengthened economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” a White House statement said.

Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid Party, with 19 seats the second largest in the Knesset after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, is seen by the Obama administration as critical to advancing peace talks now underway with the Palestinians.

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