Biden visits Israel to pay respects to former PM Sharon


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently traveled to Israel and met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pay his respects to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who passed away last week.

Biden's trip began with a memorial service at the Knesset. The Vice President said he wanted to be able to pay his respects to Sharon personally, while also upholding the U.S. commitment to Israel.

Biden later had the opportunity to sit and talk with Netanyahu, President of Israel Shimon Peres, the speaker of the Knesset and various staff members to discuss the life of Sharon, current events, concerns in the region and related topics over lunch.

Biden later attended Sharon's funeral, where he participated in the burial service and represented the United States in the laying of the wreath. Biden also briefly spoke to Israeli leaders and politicians at the ceremony.

During his stay, the Vice President had dinner with Netanyahu and was able to discuss mutual interests, including the regional threat of terrorism and current events in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

Biden had another, smaller meeting with President Peres during his stay, where he was able to discuss the peace process between Israel and Palestine in the region since the Arab Spring in 2011.