PM and Pompeo discussed Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Golan Heights; Netanyahu reports he will visit Washington next week; PM on Hezbollah: You can imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan. We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jerusalem on Wednesday, their meeting centered on Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and the Golan Heights.
The prime minister praised unwavering US-Israeli relations under the Trump Administration, highlighting Pompeo’s work as “an extraordinary champion of the US-Israel alliance,” and stating on the American people, “We appreciate… the fact that we have a broad base of support in the United States… our alliance in recent years has never been stronger. It’s an unbreakable bond that’s based on shared values of liberty and democracy, and shared interest to fight the enemies of democracy, the enemies of our way of life, the terrorists that plague, that prowl our airspace and prowl our countries.”
He referred to President Trump’s historical relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, stating “Under President Trump, that alliance has also brought a historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem. The unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security, the support that you give us in international forums, all of that is deeply appreciated,” in reference to the United States efforts to fight the Israel agenda at the UN and nuclear Iran. He added, “I think that no less historic is the President’s decision to walk away from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. He said he would do it; he did. He said that he would reimpose tough sanctions on Iran and he did.”
Specifically addressing Iran and the success of the United States’ sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Netanyahu stated, “What we see is that this pressure is working. We need to increase it. We need to expand it. And together, the United States and Israel are working in close coordination to roll back Iranian aggression in the region and around the world.” He confirmed that during their meeting on Wednesday, both Netanyahu and Pompeo agreed on efforts to “intensify the pressure even more”, and the common goal of “Rolling back Iran is in the interest of peace and security and stability for Israel, for our neighbors and for the world.”
Moving to Syria, the prime minister reiterated that Israel will continue to take action against Iran entrenching itself in Syria, as well as arming itself with “dangerous weapons”. He stated on Israel’s defense from Iran and Syria, “There is no limitation to our freedom of action, and we appreciate very much the fact that the United States backs up our actions as we do them.” On Hezbollah and their recent efforts to build a terror network in Syria along the Golan Heights, along with Israel’s diplomatic efforts to gain the United States’ recognition of its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Netanyahu stated, “You can imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan. We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It’s time that the international community recognize Israel’s stay in the Golan, the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the State of Israel.”
He thanked the US Security of State for his visit and support and announced he would travel to Washington next week to meet with President Trump. He reported, “I look forward to our discussions, and I look forward to my visit next week to Washington where I will meet with President Trump. I believe that we can carry this relationship even stronger.”
Following their meeting, both leaders met with Israel’s gas pipeline partners from Greece and Cyprus, the meeting centered on the East Med pipeline and “promoting energy security”, as well as “efforts to combat Iran, China and Russia”. Pompeo stated ahead of their meeting, “This meeting is part of our effort to continue to build up regional alliances,” referring to Israeli relations with its Arab neighbors and regional cooperation within the energy sector.
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