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National Security Chiefs of Israel, US, Russia Tackle Iranian Presence in Syria

National Security Chiefs of Israel, US, Russia Tackle Iranian Presence in Syria

Tuesday, 25 June, 2019 - 05:45
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks to the press alongside Russian security council chief Nikolai Patrushev during their meeting in Jerusalem on Monday. (Reuters)
Moscow, Tel Aviv – Raed Jaber and Asharq Al-Awsat
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off on Monday a security summit to address the situation with Iran and its presence in Syria, as well as issues of regional stability.

The summit brings together the chiefs of national security councils from each of the United States, Israel and Russia.

Speaking alongside Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Moscow's security council, Netanyahu said Israel will do "everything" to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The summit follows weeks of simmering tensions between Tehran and Washington in the Gulf.

Israel has carried out repeated strikes to prevent Iranian forces becoming embedded in neighboring Syria, where both Iran and Moscow back Bashar Assad’s regime.

Patrushev did not directly mention Tehran in his comments to the press.

"We pay great attention to Israel's security," he said. "To resolve this issue in practice, it is necessary to bring peace and stability to the region, including on Syrian territory."

Their meeting came a day after Netanyahu hosted US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who shares the Israeli premier's tough stance on Iran.

Bolton is set to meet Patrushev on Tuesday along with their Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat.

The first of its kind summit between the American, Israeli and Russian officials began with bilateral meetings on Monday and will witness tripartite talks on Tuesday.

Patrushev said discussions will focus on developments in the Middle East, especially Syria. He stressed the need to restore peace in the country, reaching a political settlement, eliminating terrorist remnants, providing humanitarian aid and reviving its economy.

Expectations are low that the gatherers will achieve rapprochement over pending issues.

Russian sources ruled out the possibility of reaching a breakthrough on bridging differences over the presence of Iranian forces in Syria. Moscow is, however, hoping that the summit will pave the way for opening a permanent channel of communication between it and the US and Israel on Syria.

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