by: Joshua Spurlock
Monday, 18 February 2019 | The United States and Israel seem to be speaking each other’s language in a lot of ways when it comes to peace in the Middle East. On Thursday, while at the US-sponsored Warsaw Conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed enthusiasm for the anticipated “Deal of the Century” peace plan by the Trump administration during a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence.
Just hours earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a line from Netanyahu’s talking points when he said during a meeting with Netanyahu that “you can’t achieve peace and stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran.
“It’s just not possible,” continued Pompeo in comments released by the State Department. “They’re a malign influence in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq, the three H’s: the Houthis, Hamas and Hezbollah. These are real threats; there are others as well. But you can’t get peace in the Middle East without pushing back against Iran.”
During the conversation between Netanyahu and Pence, the Israeli leader fielded a question from reporters asking if he supported Trump’s peace plan for the Israelis and the Palestinians. Responded Netanyahu, “I look forward to receiving the plan, and we’ll look at it once it’s presented.
“I have to say that I know that the Trump administration seeks to ensure the security of Israel for generations,” he continued in comments published to the White House website. “And even though I always say, based on the experience that we endured here, that Israel must always be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat, it’s comforting to know that we have such a strong ally in the United States of America.”
Defending Israel particularly means addressing the threats from Iran, and the conference in Warsaw—which brought together Arab nations, Israel and Western countries—was largely focused on the Islamic Republic. Netanyahu appreciated the American initiative to put the event together.
“This conference—in which you’ve brought together some 60 foreign ministers, and Arab foreign ministers with an Israeli prime minister, for the first time to stand together against Iran in such clarity, such unity—I think this is something that we deeply appreciate,” said Netanyahu to Pence. “We have no better friends, and we know it.”
As for the Trump peace plan, the full details may be made public in the near future. Pompeo, in an interview with Michel Ghandour of Alhurra [a US-based Arabic language satellite TV channel] that was republished by the State Department said that senior American officials at the Warsaw conference “shared a little bit of the outlines of the deal, really the central tenets of what we’re hoping to achieve.”
Looking forward in his own words to the plan, Pompeo said they “hope we are able to roll out the full plan, all of the details of that plan, in the weeks ahead.”
Posted on February 18, 2019
Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on February 14, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)
Photo Credit: Benjamin Netanyahu@netanyahu/Twitter
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