Vice President Biden Delivers Major Policy Address at TAU Thursday, March 11, 2010
"U.S. has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel," Biden tells audience
US Vice President Joe Biden and TAU President Joseph Klafter
Returning to the campus where he familiarized himself with Mideast geopolitics as a junior senator, U. S. Vice President Joe Biden made the only public address of his state visit at Tel Aviv University today.
Speaking to an audience of international press and TAU faculty and students, Biden addressed the issue dominating the headlines — the announcement, just two days ago, of construction planning in East Jerusalem. He appreciated Prime Minister Netanyahu's response and appealed for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to start immediately. "The most important thing is for these talks to go forward and go forward promptly and go forward in good faith," Biden said. "We can't delay because when progress is postponed, extremists exploit our differences."
Introducing the Vice President, TAU President Joseph Klafter thanked him for being "a true friend of Israel." He noted TAU's deep and extensive ties with leading U.S. universities and agencies such as the NIH, NASA and Department of Defense. "The Israel-U.S. relationship itself is a major field of research at the Institute for National Security Studies, which is affiliated with this university," Klafter said.
Vice President Biden emphasized that "President Barack Obama and myself know that the U.S. has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel." He also addressed the issue of Iran, assuring the audience that they must "make no mistake about America's resolve" in its fight against terrorism and against the Iranian nuclear program.
Biden, who first visited Tel Aviv University more than three decades ago, twice served as Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has played a significant role in shaping U.S. foreign policy.