Israel to host unprecedented high-level security meeting between US, Russia

The threat posed by the Iranian presence in Syria is expected to be at the center of the tripartite meeting.

By World Israel News Staff 

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged from the Knesset chamber early Thursday morning after parliament had just voted to call a new election to take place on September 17, he told reporters angrily that Israel had much more important things to do right now than hold an election.

In that context, he disclosed details of an event that apparently had been revealed in Washington just moments earlier. Calling it unprecedented, Netanyahu said that Israel would be hosting a security meeting with officials from the U.S. and Russia.

“A meeting like has never taken place before in Israel. Never,” Netanyahu said emphatically to reporters after walking down the steps from the chamber on his way to his parliamentary office, expressing defiance that his government was reaching new heights even as he was being dragged into an election campaign.

“This is what we want to do, not unnecessary elections,” Netanyahu scoffed.

A White House statement said that “in June, United States National Security Adviser Ambassador John Bolton, Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolay Patrushev will meet in Jerusalem, Israel, to discuss regional security issues.”

According to media reports, the Iranian presence in Syria is expected to be at the center of the agenda, along with the U.S. withdrawal from that country.

Netanyahu has developed close ties with both U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Israeli and Russian leaders have met periodically and reportedly have spoken by phone on a number of occasions to coordinate Israeli and Russian interests in Syria.

According to the Israel Hayom newspaper, Netanyahu’s relationship with Trump and Putin has put Israel in a unique position to act as a go-between between the U.S and Russia on the Syrian issue.

Bolton visited Israel in January and tried to allay Israel’s fears over the U.S. pullout from Syria.

In April, Ben-Shabbat met Bolton in Washington. The U.S. national security adviser tweeted after that meeting that “the close United States-Israel strategic partnership reflects the tremendous strength of the ties between our governments and the citizens of our two allied countries.”