The Russian, Israeli and US national security advisers – Nikolai Patrushev, Meir Ben-Shabbat and John Bolton – are meeting for a trilateral summit in Jerusalem this morning.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the summit was unprecedented and “more evidence of the special standing of Israel among the nations of the world at this time”.
On Monday, Netanyahu met with Patrushev in preparation for the summit and told the Russian national security adviser: “Israel won’t allow an Iran that calls for our annihilation to entrench itself on our border, and we will do anything it takes to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons”. Netanyahu praised the security cooperation between Russia and Israel for its contribution to “the security and stability of the region”.
Patrushev said the summit would focus on “the regional situation, especially Syria,” and placed special emphasis on Israel’s security concerns as well as “several ideas about how to reach peace” in the Middle East. He added: “And once we reach agreement, we should add other states in the region to this format.”
At a press conference to open the meeting Bolton praised Netanyahu’s leadership and described Iran as the source of aggression in the Middle East. Patrushev emphasised the importance of Israel’s security, with two million Russians in Israel, but said it was important to remember other regional powers.
Jacob Nagel, a former Israeli national security advisor, wrote earlier this week that the priority of the summit would be a political arrangement in Syria that includes the removal of all foreign forces. Israel has demanded the removal of Iranian forces, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from Syria, along with Iranian-backed Shiite militias. The Russian presence and role in the region will also be discussed today but, according to Nagel, modifications of Tehran’s and Moscow’s roles will not be easy to achieve.