US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have hailed strong ties between the two countries and vowed to counter Iranian aggression as the pair met in Jerusalem, weeks before Israel’s election.
Pompeo’s visit on Wednesday and warm words on Netanyahu’s leadership were widely seen as a boost for the Likud chief at the height of a tight re-election campaign.
The Israeli prime minister, who is facing a tough election challenge from a popular former military chief and reeling from a series of corruption allegations, has repeatedly sought to focus attention on his foreign policy record and ties with US President Donald Trump.
Netanyahu will visit Washington next week, where is set to meet Trump twice.
The Israeli people should have confidence that Trump, who is due to present a peace plan after the Israeli vote, will maintain a close bond with Israel, he said.
For his part, Netanyahu thanked Pompeo for the Trump administration’s strong stance against Iran, which Israel regards as an existential threat.
Netanyahu is one of Trump’s strongest backers on the global stage. Since taking office, Trump has upended US policy and taken a series of steps welcomed by Israel, most notably by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Source: Palestine chronicle