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Biden declares support for Israel and Ukraine is vital for US security

Biden declares support for Israel and Ukraine is ‘vital’ for US security

President Joe Biden declared it is “vital for America’s national security” for Israel and Ukraine to succeed in their wars.

He made the case for deepening US involvement in two foreign conflicts as he prepared to ask for billions of dollars in military assistance for both countries.

In a rare televised Oval Office address, Mr Biden said “conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world” if international aggression is allowed to continue.

He said: “Hamas and Putin represent different threats. But they share this in common. They both want to completely annihilate a neighbouring democracy.”

He said he would send an urgent funding request to Congress, which is expected to be roughly 100 billion dollars (£82.5 billion) over the next year.

The proposal, which will be unveiled on Friday, includes money for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, humanitarian aid and border management, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

“It’s a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations,” Mr Biden said.

Mr Biden hopes combining all the issues into one piece of legislation will create the necessary political coalition for congressional approval.

His speech comes the day after his high-stakes trip to Israel, where he showed solidarity with the country in its battle against Hamas and pushed for more humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Ahead of his address, Mr Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stress the US remained committed to backing Kyiv, the White House said.

And a senior White House official said Mr Biden continued to develop his remarks on Thursday after working with close aides throughout the week, including on his flight home from Israel.

Mr Biden faces an array of steep challenges as he tries to secure the money. The House remains in chaos because the Republican majority has been unable to select a speaker to replace Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted more than two weeks ago.

Conservative Republicans oppose sending more weapons to Ukraine as its battle against the Russian invasion approaches the two-year mark.

Mr Biden’s previous request for funding, which included 24 billion dollars (£19.8 billion) to help with the next few months of fighting, was stripped out of budget legislation last month despite a personal plea from Mr Zelensky.

The White House has warned time is running out to prevent Ukraine, which recently struggled to make progress in a gruelling counter offensive, from losing ground to Russia because of dwindling supplies of weapons.

There will be resistance on the other side of the political spectrum when it comes to military assistance for Israel, which has been bombarding the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attack on October 7.

Critics have accused Israel of indiscriminately killing civilians and committing war crimes by cutting off essential supplies like food, water and fuel.

Bipartisan support for Israel has eroded in recent years as progressive Democrats have become more outspoken in their opposition to the country’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory, which is widely viewed as illegal by the international community.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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