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December 3, 2018 3:38 pm

Iran Tops Agenda at Pompeo-Netanyahu Meeting in Brussels

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat celebrate the second night of Hanukkah, in Brussels, Belgium, Dec. 3, 2018. Photo: Netanyahu’s Twitter account.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Brussels on Monday for a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in the Belgian capital for a NATO gathering.

The Israeli leader was accompanied by Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat and Military Secretary Brig. Gen. Avi Blot.

Ahead of their sit-down, which the prime minister called “important for the security of Israel,” Netanyahu and Pompeo lit candles to mark the second night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

“I want to thank you for everything that you’re doing, for your strong statements on the latest violation by Iran on the ballistic missiles,” Netanyahu told the secretary of state. “I look forward to discussing with you how we can together curb Iran’s aggression in the region, in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon and elsewhere, and to continue our efforts to achieve peace and security for everyone.”

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Commenting on the meeting, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Pompeo “emphasized the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and absolute right to self-defense and to fighting anti-Israeli bias at the United Nations.”

“The secretary reiterated US support for warming ties and increased dialogue between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East and Africa, including Oman and Chad,” she added. “Secretary Pompeo noted the strength of the US-Israel alliance and our multifaceted cooperation.”

Furthermore, Nauert concluded, Pompeo “reiterated America’s resolve in confronting the totality of the Iranian regime’s threats through maximum pressure.”

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