Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday hosted in Jerusalem what he termed as “a historic and unprecedented” trilateral meeting in Jerusalem between the national security advisers of the US, Russia, and Israel.
The three parties are focused on Iran’s presence in Syria, which is perceived as a threat to Israel, and the latest developments on Iran’s aggressive conduct in the region in general. Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s patron, has significant sway on the goings-on in the war-torn country.
Tuesday’s meeting took place following meetings held by Netanyahu and Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat in recent days with US National Security Adviser John Bolton and the Secretary of the Russian National Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev.
In comments to the media, Netanyahu stated at the start of the meeting that the summit was “historic because it’s the first meeting between our three countries’ national security advisors in our capital, Jerusalem.”
He thanked President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin for sending their most senior advisors.
“I deeply value the strong relationships that Israel has with both leaders and both countries,” he said,
He said that the focus of the meetings was “the challenge of how to bring security and stability in our immediate region. Based on our discussions, 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 that stability in our region, and particularly in Syria.”
Addressing the cause of instability, Iran, Netanyahu said that “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. 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 the neighboring territory as platforms to attack us, and Israel will respond forcefully to any such attacks,” he declared.
“All three of us would like to see a peaceful, stable and secure Syria,” which will be achieved when “no foreign forces that arrived in Syria after 2011 remain in Syria. We think there are also ways to achieve this common goal, which will create a more stable Middle East, or at least a more stable Middle East in this part of that region,” he explained.
“I believe that the outcome that I’ve just described – the departure of all foreign forces from Syria who entered Syria after 2011 – will be good for Russia, good for the United States, good for Israel, and may I add, good for Syria,” he added.