PM Netanyahu's first appearance since US announcement

PM Netanyahu speaks publicly for first time since US announced Pres. Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem.

Mordechai Sones - AFP ,

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/POOL

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today (Wednesday) refrained from commenting on US President Donald Trump's intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in his first speech since the plan
was confirmed.

Netanyahu, speaking at a diplomatic conference organized by the Jerusalem Post newspaper, instead focused on Israel's security and flourishing economic ties with countries globally. Trump's plan, to be announced later Wednesday, has released strong reaction around the world ranging from unbridled joy to dire foreboding.

Netanyahu gave an overview of Israel's position in the world both compared to its standing historically and in contrast to other comparable countries today, noting his achievements in the diplomatic field. He said that he was the first Israeli Prime minister to visit any country in the Western Hemisphere south of the United States. He listed contacts and friendships forged in India and Africa, and credited Israel's technological "prowess" with the steadily expanding list of nations seeing a relationship with Israel as in their national interest.

Netanyahu also named terror as a factor in ending Israel's isolation, saying that as more nations recognize the Iranian threat, Israel gains from the opportunity to share its anti-terror capabilities with others. He said that Israel would do "anything" to prevent Iran from establishing a corridor to the Mediterranean through Syria.

Concluding his speech, Netanyahu addressed foreign diplomats present, asking them to relay to their governments the importance of joining with Israel in its struggles against terror and injustice for the sake of everyone's future.