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June 25, 2019 4:04 pm

Top Israeli Security Official: Middle East Stability Contingent on ‘Reining in Iran’s Aspirations and Actions’

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Meir Ben-Shabbat. John Bolton, Benjamin Netanyahu and Nikolai Patrushev shake hands at the opening of a trilateral security summit in Jerusalem, June 25, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

A first-of-its-kind tripartite summit between top US, Russian and Israeli security officials was held in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The event — focused on regional security issues — was attended by US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Israeli National Security Council Chairman Meir Ben-Shabbat.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also delivered remarks at the gathering.

According to the Israeli leader, his country — along with the US and Russia — would “like to see a peaceful, stable and secure Syria.”

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He also asserted there was a “common objective” — “that is no foreign forces that arrived in Syria after 2011 remain in Syria.”

Achieving that goal would “create a more stable Middle East, or at least a more stable Middle East in this part of that region,” Netanyahu added.

“I believe that the outcome that I’ve just described — the departure of all foreign forces from Syria who entered Syria after 2011 — will be good for Russia, good for the United States, good for Israel, and may I add, good for Syria,” he went on to say.

Ben-Shabbat said regional security could not be attained “without reining in Iran’s aspirations and actions.”

Bolton tweeted later on Tuesday, “Many thanks to our Israeli hosts for arranging today’s trilateral meeting with my counterparts from Israel and Russia. We discussed ways to combat Iran’s malicious activity in the region and nuclear ambitions, and the importance of a political resolution in Syria.”

Patrushev, on the other hand, defended Iran after the meeting, saying, as quoted by the Russian news agency TASS,  “In the context of the statements made by our partners with regard to a major regional power, namely Iran, I would like to say the following: Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on bilateral basis and within multilateral formats.”

“This is why we believe that it is inadmissible to describe Iran as the major threat to the regional security and, moreover, to put it on par with the Islamic State or any other terrorist organization,” he declared.

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