Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Netanyahu meets Omani FM, hints other Arab states warming to Israel

Netanyahu: Meetings in Warsaw With Arab Leaders Are in Pursuit of ‘War With Iran’ Netanyahu Confirms Israeli Military Strike in Syrian Golan Heights
Patty Aguilar | 14 February, 2019, 11:41

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israeli forces had carried out another strike in Iran-aligned Syria, a day after the Syrian army said an Israeli drone fired missiles near a demolished hospital and an army observation post.

The controversy comes amid speculation about the goal of the meeting in Poland of top officials from 65 different countries-which also featured President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani calling for regime change in Iran while speaking at a rally outside the summit on behalf of, as Robert Mackey of The Intercept put it, "a cult-like group of Iranian exiles who pay him to represent them".

A video circulating on social media showed the Israeli prime minister using the word "war" in Hebrew while speaking to reporters in front of an ice rink in the Polish capital.

But some experts and journalists said Netanyahu's comments were blown out of proportion.

- Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) February 13, 2019 You know how I say that Israel and Saudi Arabia (and NGOs that support them) want war with Iran?

Before broadening the agenda, the USA initially told allies the meeting would focus on Iran, a bête noire for national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom have advocated for regime change in Tehran in the past.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel would not allow Iran and its ally Hezbollah to entrench themselves in neighbouring Syria where they are backing the Damascus regime against rebels and jihadists.

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Wednesday's conference is co-hosted by the USA and Poland and its official focus is Mideast peace and security.

Around 60 delegations from around the world were expected to be received by Polish President Andrzej Duda at the Royal Castle in Warsaw for the two-day event, but key participants have chose to skip the conference. The meeting occurred a conference in Poland, The Hill reported.

Oman hosted the Israeli leader in October and several high-ranking Israeli ministers have also made visits to countries in the Gulf over the a year ago.

Pompeo spoke amid tensions with the European Union over Washington's decision to pull out of world powers' 2015 nuclear deal with Iran deal and its sudden announcement to withdraw American troops from Syria.

"With the summit largely spurned by our Western European allies, the administration was forced to spin the event from an Iran-centric gathering to one focused on broader Middle East peace and security issues", NIAC said. Israel lacks both formal diplomatic and economic relations with the United Arab Emirates.

Iran was not invited to the summit and Palestine declined to attend.

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