The Netanyahu-Pompeo discussion is said to have centered on the U.S. withdrawal from and Iranian presence in Syria.
By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News
Even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was summing up what he called an “important” state visit to Brazil, the most crucial development appears to have emerged on the sidelines of his stay in Brasilia for the inauguration of President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday.
Also attending the inauguration was U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and his presence allowed for talks with the Israeli leader which are said to have focused on the burning issue of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria. Trump has since announced that the withdrawal will be slow.
Reports have indicated that both Israeli pressure and warnings from among U.S. military figures, past and present, led to the president’s decision to allow for four months for the withdrawal to be completed instead of his initial demand that the troops pull out in 30 days.
Before the Netanyahu-Pompeo meeting, the prime minister told reporters that the main topics of discussion were to be with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and Iranian attempts to establish a broad military presence there.
After the meeting, a senior Israeli official briefing correspondents said that the meeting with Pompeo was extremely successful to the extent that ““Israel received almost everything it wanted.” The senior official would not specify what the prime minister had requested but went as far as to say “Israel had eight requests, seven of which were accepted.”
Israeli officials are concerned that the planned withdrawal of the 2,000 U.S. military personnel from Syria will create a vacuum that would allow Iran to increase its influence in the country.
However, the senior Israeli diplomatic source told reporters Wednesday that Netanyahu left the meeting with the secretary of state with the feeling that Israel has influence over U.S. policy in certain areas. The senior official said that Israel and the United States are working on “various ideas regarding Syria that will help Israel.”
On Sunday, Netanyahu is scheduled to meet in Jerusalem with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.