Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lost no time getting straight down to business on Wednesday night as soon as both had arrived in Lisbon.
Netanyahu had barely stepped off the plane from Tel Aviv, and Pompeo was fresh from London where he had accompanied President Donald Trump to the two-day NATO summit held in the British capital but both immediately settled down to begin their discussions, although they first met with reporters to give a rundown of their basic agenda.
“The first subject that I will raise is Iran, the second subject is Iran, and so is the third, and many more,” said Netanyahu.
“We’ve been fortunate that President Trump has led a consistent policy of pressure against Iran. Iran is increasing its aggression as we speak, even today, in the region. They’re trying to have staging grounds against us and the region from Iran itself, from Iraq, from Syria, from Lebanon, Gaza, and Yemen and we are actively engaged in countering that aggression.
“The Israeli-American policy is key to that effort that serves the purposes of many, many countries in the region. That will be the first subject that I will raise, including the ability to strengthen even further our mutual defense.
“I’m very grateful to you, Mr. Secretary for the statement by the State Department that said that settlements are not illegal. I think that contrary to every common spin, this actually advances peace, because peace has to be based on truth, and not on lies.
We are committed to advancing security, prosperity and peace in our region, and I believe this conversation and many others will do exactly that.”
Pompeo agreed there was much to discuss.
“I’ll just say we do have a number of things to talk about,” Pompeo smiled. “I just flew in from being with the president in London where each of the meetings we had, one of the central topics was how to create Middle East stability in this time where there are anti-Iran protests taking place in Baghdad, anti-Iranian protests taking place in Beirut, and we all know what’s going on in Iran itself.
“These are people that are seeking freedom and a reasonable way to live and they recognize the threat that is posed by the kleptocrats that are running the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“So we talked to our European partners about that and how we can together ensure that we do everything we can to create opportunity for these people who simply want freedom and the chance to live a normal life — so I look forward to talking to you about that and a handful of other things today as well.”