TEL AVIV – Minutes before the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and send Israel to new elections, the White House announced a security summit to be held next month in Jerusalem between Israel, Russia and the US.
“In June, United States National Security Adviser Ambassador John Bolton, Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolay Patrushev will meet in Jerusalem, Israel, to discuss regional security issues,” the White House said in a statement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, angered at the turn of events Wednesday, said that the conference was unprecedented.
“We have a lot of things that we want to do,” a visibly upset Netanyahu told reporters according to translation by the Times of Israel. “This is what we want to do, not unnecessary elections. … A meeting like has never taken place before in Israel. Never.”
The meeting is likely to deal mostly with Syria, and specifically focus on Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily there. It is also expected to focus on the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
Last month, Ben-Shabbat met with Bolton to discuss their “shared commitment to countering Iranian malign activity & other destabilizing actors in the Middle East and around the world,” Bolton said at the time.
Ben-Shabbat also met with Patrushev in September 2018 in Moscow to discuss “regional issues in the Middle East, including the situation in Syria,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said at the time. “National Security Adviser Ben-Shabbat emphasized that Israel insists that Iranian forces must leave all of Syria.”