PM met with Bolton on Iran, Syria, US peace plan and much more; Bolton: Under Netanyahu and Trump we now have the best US-Israel relationship in our history; Netanyahu: you have backed Israel’s right to defend itself which we exercise constantly.
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday, their meeting centered on Iran and its presence in Syria, the Trump peace plan and Israel’s security.
Netanyahu met with Bolton in Jerusalem, both leaders addressing the press ahead of their meeting. The prime minister took the opportunity to once again thank the Trump Administration for the “extraordinary support you’ve shown Israel,” referring to its reforms at the UN, departure from the nuclear deal and its sanctions, as well as recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
On Israel’s defense and the United States support of it at the UN, Netanyahu stated “you have backed Israel’s right to defend itself which we exercise constantly. It’s important to know that we have the backing of our great friend and ally the United States of America.”
Bolton spoke at length on strong ties between Israel and the United States, stating that “under your leadership, Mr. Prime Minister – you and President Trump – we now have the best US-Israel relationship in our history.” He also spoke about the United States’ withdrawal from Syria and speaking of the increased timeline to leave so as “to make sure ISIS is defeated and not able to revive itself and become a threat again and make sure the defense of Israel and other friends in the region is absolutely sure.” Bolton added, “A sovereign nation’s ability to defend itself is the ultimate mark of sovereignty.”
Ahead of a tour in the Golan Heights Monday, Netanyahu spoke of Israel’s sovereignty over the territory and its need for defense from northern threats. He stated, “The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security. I think that when you’re there you will be able to understand perfectly why we will never leave the Golan Heights and why it’s important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
Referring to prior conversations with President Trump on the Golan Heights and in efforts to achieve US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the region, he stated, “I’ve discussed this with the President and I hope that I have a chance to show this directly to you tomorrow on our visit.”
In November of last year, the UN General Assembly passed its annual anti-Israel resolution on the Golan Heights. Of the nine resolutions passed against the State of Israel, only the United States and Israel voted against the resolution on “occupied Syrian Golan”, with 151 votes in favor and 14 abstentions.
Former US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, stated ahead of the vote, “The United States will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights. If this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel. Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone. The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement. The United States will vote no.”
Bolton took to Twitter following the press conference Sunday, stating “The alliance between the United States and Israel is unbreakable, and under this Administration, our ties grow ever stronger by the day. U.S. support for Israel’s right to self-defense is unwavering.”
Be sure to watch Amir’s Middle East Update on developments in Syria.