Will there be a US-Russia-Israel summit in Jerusalem before elections?

Cabinet told trilateral meeting in the works, perhaps to take place before September 17 elections; event would highlight PM Netanyahu's diplomatic credibility.

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September 4, 2019 09:57
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting on Sept. 3, 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting on Sept. 3, 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Efforts are under way to hold another US-Russian-Israel trilateral security meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Though he did not say when this meeting would take place, it is widely believed that he would like it to happen before the September 17 election in order to highlight his diplomatic credentials just prior to the opening of the polls.

An unprecedented meeting of the national security advisers of the three countries – John Bolton, Nikolai Patrushev and Meir Ben-Shabbat – took place in Jerusalem in June, focusing on the situation in Syria. Netanyahu said that the proposed meeting would continue the discussion about removing Iran from Syria.

Netanyahu’s comments about a possible trilateral security meeting to discuss Syria came at about the same time that his office issued a statement saying that a planned one-day trip next week to India has been postponed until after the election because of scheduling issues.

The prime minister, who briefly addressed the tension in the north following the skirmish on the Lebanese border on Sunday, said that he has defined for the IDF and the security establishment three priorities in the following order: first, to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons; second, to prevent Iran from supplying its proxies precision weaponry that endangers Israel; and third, to prevent the entrenchment of Iran and its proxies on Israel’s borders.

“We are working to achieve all of those goals, some overtly, some covertly,” he said. “We are determined to keep Israel safe.”

Netanyahu welcomed comments made by the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates against Hezbollah’s recent actions.

“They condemned the weakness of Lebanon, which allows the terrorist organization Hezbollah to operate against Israel from its territory,” he said. “This sounds like the messianic days, but shows the fundamental changes that are taking place in the Middle East. The Arab world also understands that Iranian aggression endangers not only Israel but the entire region. I call on other countries as well to stand up against the aggression of Iran and its proxies.”

In New York, meanwhile, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent a letter to the UN Security Council warning that Sunday’s Hezbollah attack launched from UNIFIL’s area of operations in southern Lebanon can “destabilize the whole region with the active support of Iran.”

The letter stated that Hezbollah’s expanded build-up in Lebanon is a violation of Security Council resolutions, and that while the Lebanese government is “fully aware” of Hezbollah’s precision-guided missile program on its soil, not only has it “never taken any steps” to shut the program down, it has actually abetted it by concealing the program from the world.

“It is also imperative that the Security Council make unequivocally clear to the Lebanese government that it must exercise its sovereignty, prevent attacks and threats from its territory against Israel, and restrain Hezbollah,” the letter stated. “Hezbollah’s attacks and the unacceptable backing and support that this terrorist organization receives from the Lebanese authorities and their Iranian partners could have disastrous consequences for Lebanon.”


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