Liberman and Trump.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM,REUTERS)
Minister Avigdor Liberman will land in Washington on Tuesday to meet with his American counterpart, retired Marine General James Mattis, as well as US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Liberman’s meeting with Pence and Tillerson will be his first. The four are set to discuss shared security challenges, including those with Iran, Syria and Lebanon.
Liberman met with Mattis in early February on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, calling him a “true friend who is committed to Israel’s security.”
Iran was first and foremost among the matters the two discussed, and they agreed that they must act decisively against it.
There is a “need to build a genuine and effective coalition” to deal with the terrorism that Tehran is spreading throughout the world, including the development of ballistic missiles and its continued attempts to develop nuclear weapons, read a statement put out by Liberman’s office at the time.
According to a February readout of the meeting by the US Department of Defense, Mattis “underscored the US commitment to Israel’s security and its qualitative military edge” and agreed to continue “close collaboration and consultation on a range of bilateral defense activities and initiatives.”
During the Munich conference, Pence said that the US would stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons that could be used against it or Israel.
Pence, who had just days earlier met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
during his visit to Washington, said that, “Under President [Donald] Trump, the US will remain fully committed to ensuring that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon capable of threatening our country [or] our allies in the region, especially Israel.”
Iran’s threat to the region, Israel and the US was a priority in the series of high-level meetings Netanyahu held in Washington. Aside from Iran, there were also security discussions on Syria, the threat posed by Islamic State and terrorism.