Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday it was time the United States recognised Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights.
During a joint press conference as part of Pompeo’s Israel visit, Netanyahu told the Secretary of State that if Israel had not been controlling the Golan Heights: “We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.” The Prime Minister added: “It’s time the international community recognises Israel’s stay in the Golan, the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the state of Israel.”
While not mentioning the Golan Heights, Pompeo discussed the need for the United States and Israel to counter Iran and the Trump administration’s unwavering support for Israeli security, saying: “With such threats a daily reality of Israeli life, we maintain our unparalleled commitment to Israel’s security and firmly support your right to defend yourselves”.
Pompeo was in Israel as part of a regional tour that includes stops in Kuwait, Israel and Lebanon. During his meeting with Netanyahu, Pompeo said the region needs “candid dialogue” to achieve peace. The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah, said of the US peace plan that: “We hope the plan will take into account the situation in the region and all the relevant parties”.
Netanyahu yesterday hosted the sixth Eastern Mediterranean summit, attended by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Secretary Pompeo. The State Department said the purpose of the summit was to: “Discuss key energy and security issues facing the Eastern Mediterranean region”.
Netanyahu said the summit had become: “One of the best regional collaborations in the world. We cooperate on everything, from fighting fires to energy.” Netanyahu added that Secretary Pompeo’s participation in the dialogue “signifies the fact that the United States supports this regional effort.”