President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday for the first time since being sworn in last month as America’s 46th commander-in-chief.

The call came amid speculation in both the Israeli and U.S. media about why it took so long for the two leaders to finally speak, considering the close historic relationship between the two allies.

“The President affirmed his personal history of steadfast commitment to Israel’s security and conveyed his intent to strengthen all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership, including our strong defense cooperation,” according to the White House

“Together, the leaders discussed the importance of continued close consultation on regional security issues, including Iran. The President emphasized U.S. support for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab and Muslim world. He underscored the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians. Together, they affirmed their shared interest in continued strategic cooperation to confront the many challenges facing the region,” the White House readout noted.

The discussion between the two world leaders lasted for about an hour and “was very warm and friendly,” according to a tweet from Netanyahu’s office.

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