Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Tuesday, 25 June 2019), at the Orient Hotel in Jerusalem, led the trilateral summit meeting of the national security advisers of the US, Russia and Israel.
The historic meeting of security advisers is being held pursuant to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s efforts with the American and Russian administrations and in continuation of the meetings held by the Prime Minister and 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.
National Security Adviser Ben-Shabbat and his US and Russian counterparts are currently meeting at the summit. The discussions are focusing on Iran, Syria and regional issues.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, at the start of the meeting:
“It’s historic because it’s the first meeting between our three countries’ national security advisors in our capital, Jerusalem. I want to thank President Trump and President Putin for agreeing to hold this security summit and for sending their most senior advisors. I deeply value the strong relationships that Israel has with both leaders and both countries.
As I’ve said many times, Israel’s relations with the United States of America has reached new heights under President Trump’s leadership. Equally, Israel is grateful that our friendship with Russia has gotten stronger—stronger than ever in recent years.
I had an opportunity to meet with both of you these past few days, including just now in the last few minutes, to discuss important bilateral issues, but especially 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.
As both of you know, 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 neighboring territory as platforms to attack us, and Israel will respond forcefully to any such attacks.
I want to thank the Russian government and President Putin for working closely with Israel on a mechanism of deconfliction that helps ensure that as we defend ourselves, we do not put Russian forces in harm’s way.
I want to thank the United States and President Trump from unequivocally backing Israel’s right to defend itself. All three of us would like to see a peaceful, stable and secure Syria.
That’s the common goal. We also have a common objective to achieve that larger goal, and that is 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. 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.
We look forward to discussing concrete ways to achieve this goal, which is critical for successfully implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and Israel hopes that this summit will help bring us closer to achieving our shared goal of peace and prosperity and security – they go together – in this region.
Again, I want to welcome both of you, John and Nikolai, and your delegations to Jerusalem. Next year in Jerusalem. Perhaps before.”
National Security Adviser and National Security Council Chairman Ben-Shabbat, at the start of the meeting:
“The honor is ours to host, in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, this important meeting at the level of national security advisers and their teams, from the three countries. The meeting was preceded by in-depth and lengthy discussions between the Prime Minister and the heads of the two countries and professional-level talks, which have strengthened the sense that the time is now ripe for this diplomatic move. That it is being held to 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.
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. It will be unattainable without reining in Iran’s aspirations and actions. Recent events underscore this conclusion, which must be taken into account in any outline for an agreement.
Thank you Prime Minister for the leadership. Thank you my counterparts for the willingness to clear your schedules and attend the meeting. This attests to its importance. For many, including myself, this is also a basis for optimism and an opening for hope because we can formulate an agreement on the concrete goals and on the practical steps to achieve them. I wish success to us all.”
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