Netanyahu hopes USA will recognize Israel's claim on Golan Heights

Aug 26, 2018, 00:19
Netanyahu hopes USA will recognize Israel's claim on Golan Heights

Bolton's meeting with Russia's security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva was a follow up to last month's Helsinki summit between President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Patrushev said after the meeting in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that he and Bolton didn't agree on a joint statement because the USA wanted to mention the alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

The sides also discussed a number of pressing worldwide issues, including Syria, Ukraine, sanctions and arms control treaties, as well as prospects for Russian-US security interaction.

In an interview he gave as recently as this week, Trump, decrying the ongoing special counsel probe into connections between his presidential campaign and Russia, said the investigation "played right into the Russians' - if it was Russia - they played right into the Russians' hands".

Thursday's meeting, lasting for more than five hours, was the first such talks since the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump in Helsinki last month.

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"Let me be clear, the reimposition of the sanctions, we think, is already having a significant effect on Iran's economy and on, really, popular opinion inside Iran", National Security Adviser John Bolton told Reuters during a visit to Israel.

"Regime change in Iran is not American policy but what we want is massive change in the regime's behaviour", he said.

In Geneva, Bolton met with Patrushev for five hours.

In a joint statement, the 3 powers said they were "gravely concerned" over the military offensive in Idlib and the resulting humanitarian consequences.

Until now, the U.S. position has been that any global support for Syrian reconstruction-whether from the United States or its allies-was contingent on a political settlement within the framework of the UN-led "Geneva process", which, as originally conceived, envisaged the end of Bashar al-Assad's regime. "Contacts between the foreign ministries will resume, as well", he said.

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"It wasn't a question of where they might be inside Syria, we were talking about the complete return of both regular and irregular Iranian forces".

Bolton said that contrary to reports that have suggested Moscow has agreed to distance Iranian forces some 40 to 80 kilometers from Israel's border, recent talks between the United States and Russian Federation on the matter concerned "the complete return of both regular and irregular Iranian forces".

Asked if there was any US-Russian understanding about such an operation, Bolton said, "No".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, and a series of recent attacks that killed Iranians there has been attributed to Israel. Bolton added that any agreement would be ultimately up to the parties themselves and not something forced by the United States.

"Americans say you should accept what they say in the talks, which is not negotiation, but dictatorship".

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