Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary Mike Pompeo meet in Lisbon for talks on "Iran, Iran, and Iran."

The US State Department has formally denied that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the possibility of Israel annexing the Jordan Valley during his meeting last Thursday in Lisbon with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Assistant State Secretary David Schenker, of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs told reporters at a special briefing in the State Department in Washington on Friday, “I can tell you that there was no annexation plan, full or partial, for any part of the West Bank that was presented to – by Israel to the United States during the meeting, and that has long been the US Government position that the ultimate disposition of territory is to be determined between the parties.”

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After his meeting with Pompeo on Thursday, Netanyahu said the two men “discussed the issue of annexation, but we’re not talking about timetables yet.

“These things are much easier when you have a government,” Netanyahu told reporters in a quick briefing after his meeting with Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa. “That’s why it’s so important to have formed a government.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.