That a meeting between Israel, Russia and the US is being held in Jerusalem “attests to Israel’s standing, to the superpowers’ confidence in it and to the weight it is being given on issues on the regional and global agendas,” National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat stated.
A historic meeting held Tuesday in Jerusalem with leaders from Israel, the United States and Russia focused on bilateral relations and security in the region, with a special emphasis on preventing potentially dangerous situations stemming from Iran and Syria.
The discussions are a continuation of Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent meetings with National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, US National Security Adviser John Bolton and the Secretary of the Russian National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev.
Netanyahu opened the meeting by declaring that this was a historic moment, being that it was the first joint meeting between the three countries concerning national security held in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.
Reiterating that Israel has reached new heights in its relationship with the U.S. under President Donald Trump’s leadership and acknowledging Israel’s growing friendship with Russia over recent years, Netanyahu said, “I want to thank President Trump and President Putin for agreeing to hold this security summit and for sending their most senior advisers. I deeply value the strong relationships that Israel has with both leaders and both countries.”
“I believe that there is a wider basis for cooperation between the three of us than many believe. This summit represents a real opportunity to help advance stability in our region, and particularly in Syria,” the prime minister stated.
Ben-Shabbat also expressed optimism at the start of the meeting, saying, “The attainment of security and stability in our region is our common goal. Other nations and peoples in and beyond the region also aspire to it.”
“[T]hat it is being held in Jerusalem attests to Israel’s standing, to the superpowers’ confidence in it and to the weight it is being given on issues on the regional and global agendas,” he said.
He explained that the summit was preceded by in-depth and lengthy discussions between Netanyahu, Russian President Nikolai Putin and President Trump, highlighting the sense that the time is now ripe for this diplomatic move.
Netanyahu thanked the United States and specifically President Donald Trump for unequivocally backing Israel’s right to defend itself, pronouncing that all three participating countries have the common goal of attaining a peaceful and secure Syria as well as more stability, security and prosperity in the Middle East.
“Israel has acted hundreds of times to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, while it actively and openly calls and works for our destruction,” Netanyahu stated, “We have acted hundreds of times to prevent Iran from delivering increasingly sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah, or to form a second front in the north against us from the Golan Heights. Israel will continue to prevent Iran from using neighboring territory as platforms to attack us, and Israel will respond forcefully to any such attacks.”