At a long and cordial meeting with Obama in Washington Monday, Netanyahu insisted that any political agreements regarding Syria must include Israeli interests.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, although “doubtful” that there is any political solution to the violence in Syria, nevertheless told US President Barack Obama that any diplomatic arrangement “must include Israeli interests,” i24news reported.
“I told the president we will not accept any political solution that will leave Syria as a battle ground for Iranian proxies to launch attacks against Israel,” Netanyahu told Israeli journalists after his meeting with Obama on Monday. “Any solution in Syria must include the halting of attacks from Syrian territory to Israel.”
Netanyahu described the two-and-a-half hour discussion with the president, the first face-to-face meeting in over a year, as “one of the best meetings we have had.”
“Of course we have our disagreements, but there were no tensions whatsoever,” he said. “We are very practical and moving forward, we have a mutual interest to make sure Iran abides by the agreement, and we have a mutual interest in stabilizing the Middle East.”
The two leaders also discussed Israeli-American security cooperation and intelligence sharing, US military aid in light of the Iran nuclear deal and growing security threats in the region, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The president accepts our positions on the regional dangers and the strategic changes – the region and technology has changed in the past 10 years. The previous MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] was signed in 2007 – you cannot compare the current Middle East to the one that existed a decade ago,” Netanyahu declared.
He also repeated earlier statements made to the press that he was reviewing confidence-building measures in order to mitigate the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping Israel, although he provided no details. “It is Israel’s interest to prevent an eruption of violence. We can decrease the frictions, and we can prevent tensions, we are trying to distinguish between the general population and the inciters and terrorists, and prevent violence from spreading more – and that is the spirit of the steps we will be suggesting,” he said.
The Israeli leader will be meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to discuss these measures.