US meeting on Middle East brings together Israel, Gulf Arab states

Clay Curtis
February 14, 2019

"Many are following this [Omani] lead, and may I say, including at this conference", said Netanyahu after his meeting with Alawi.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Tuesday that Israel had carried out an artillery attack in Syria on Monday night. It referred to a meeting between Netanyahu and Oman's foreign affairs minister Yusuf bin Alawi.

"We are operating every day, including yesterday, against Iran".

Netanyahu considers Iran to be Israel's greatest threat, citing its calls for Israel's destruction, its nuclear program and support for militant groups across the region.

European Union policy chief Federica Mogherini, a key player in the Iran nuclear deal, will also not attend the two-day conference due to scheduling issues, an European Union official said, although Pompeo will travel to Brussels on Friday to meet with her.

On the sidelines, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Oman's foreign minister.

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Netanyahu - who has been trying to play up his diplomatic gains ahead of Israel's April election - has frequently hinted at warmer ties with Gulf Arab states.

"Tonight I believe we are beginning a new era, with Prime Minister Netanyahu from the State of Israel, with leaders from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, all breaking bread together, and later in this conference sharing honest perspectives on the challenges facing the area", Pence said addressing the guests.

Before broadening the agenda, the USA initially told allies the meeting would focus on Iran, a bête noire for national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom have advocated for regime change in Tehran in the past. And how they always get made when we say this?

Iran was not invited, nor will the Palestinians have any representation at the summit. "But Netanyahu and Gulf countries are eager to focus on Iran". The meeting occurred a conference in Poland, The Hill reported.

Netanyahu and bin Alawi are now in Warsaw to attend a so-called "Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East", which is being co-organized by the United States and Poland. Pence and Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz were also scheduled to speak.

During the conference US President Donald Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who has been putting final touches on a "deal of the century" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, will make a rare speaking appearance.

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