Netanyahu: Something amazing happened here

PM touts public relations with Arab leaders at Warsaw conference.

Yoni Kempinski, Warsaw,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu considers the international conference which took place in Warsaw this week to be a success and a sign of the diplomatic progress Israel has made in the Middle East.

"I can reveal that something happened here. Of the five Arab foreign ministers who spoke, four spoke out against Iran and spoke of Israel's right to defend itself. They talked about the fact that once the main issue was the Palestinian issue, but today they said that the Iranian issue should be at the top. When I spoke yesterday, they did not leave, they sat. They did not just sit. They did not just nod. here are many contacts, but here there was something public with a group picture," Netanyahu said.

"There is a change here, the change is in terms of the things they said, and the things that will be done. I'm not saying that the Palestinian issue did not come up, but it came out as a derivative of the larger issues. The big issue was Iran, while the Palestinians were just mentioned. This was once inconceivable. [US Vice President Mike] Pence told me it was a big change.

"I cannot detail what I talked with certain people about, or what I'll talk about later. It's not that they (the Arab foreign ministers) have no complaints, they do. But they recognize the intensity of the threat, and recognize Israel's assets. They said they wanted a practical continuation of this meeting. I have practical suggestions for the rest, which I will not elaborate on. It's important that they sat there, in front of the cameras.

He also praised Israel's relationship with the Trump Administration. "Pence spoke very forcefully against the Europeans, and the workarounds they made against the sanctions. As for Kushner, he said he would reveal [the US peace plan] following the elections and that the Arab initiative was appropriate once, but not suitable today."

"I met with the foreign ministers of Britain, Brazil, Oman, the Polish Prime Minister, and Vice President Pence. That's all I can say."

Netanyahu acknowledged that Russia remains close to Iran. "It is true that Putin met with [Iranian President] Rhouhani. I will also meet with Putin. I cannot say that there is no tension in the relations between Russia and the United States. Everyone knows about that. As for Iran, there is no alliance [between Iran and Russia], but rather common interests. Russia is not among those who are working to get Iran out of Syria, but we are. This affects Russia, as they see our strength."

"The Americans expressed total support for our policy and for the goal of removing Iran from Syria. Assad must make a decision if he continues with the policy of bringing Iran to make a terrorist base to our north."

The prime minister also addressed the issue of his recent statements which seem to contradict Israel's past policy of ambiguity on actions taken for its security.

"I will not reveal things which they do not already know that we did," Netanyahu said. "But when we use planes to strike Hezbollah and Iranian positions there is no issue of revealing sources."




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