Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R).
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israel is determined to oust Iran from Syria Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin when they spoke by telephone on Friday.
The Prime Minister’s Office said that the two men “discussed the situation in Syria and recent developments and agreed on continued coordination between the [Israeli and Russian] armies.”
Netanyahu told Putin, “Israel is determined to continue its efforts to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.”
“Netanyahu congratulated President Putin and the Russian people on the occasion of the civil new year and expressed his condolences over the disaster in Magnitogorsk,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The two men spoke in advance of a visit to Israel and Turkey this weekend by National Security Advisor John Bolton to discuss the withdrawal of US troops from Syria
He is set to meet with Netanyahu on Sunday. On Thursday he tweeted, “Leaving tomorrow for Israel & Turkey to discuss the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, how we will work with allies & partners to prevent the resurgence of ISIS, stand fast with those who fought with us against ISIS, & counter Iranian malign behavior in the region.”
Separately US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also be in the region from January 8 to 15. He will travel to Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.
He is slated to discuss regional issues with the leaders including Iran, counter terrorism and the Middle East peace process.
In Saudi Arabia, the State Department said, Pompeo will “also will seek an update on the status of the investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”
Netanyahu also met with Pompeo
while in Brazil earlier this week.
Pompeo on Thursday told Fox’s Sean Hannity that the US is combating Iran with a coalition of Arab states and Israel.
“We know that [Iran] is a real threat to the world and to America, and so we have developed relationships with Arab countries and Israel. We’ve brought them together to develop a coalition to keep Americans safe from things going on in the Middle East,” Pompeo said.
Countries like the Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Israel “are now working together across multiple fronts,” he said.
The US, he said, will still be able to counter the threat from ISIS in Syria, even when its troops have gone home.
“We haven’t changed our policy about continuing to make sure that there is no ISIS resurgence, and we’re just going to do it in a way that is smarter and better,” he said.
On Thursday, Netanyahu addressed the changing Trump administration policy about troop deployment in the Middle East, noting that the US will continue to economically support the battle against regional threat, while Israel will continue to use its military might.
US President Donald Trump, “is acting against Iran in the economic sphere and here in Israel we are acting against Iran in the military sphere,” Netanyahu said.
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