By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 13 May, 2020
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in Jerusalem on Wednesday to discuss the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the fight on Iran.
This is Pompeo’s first overseas trip since March. He will be in Israel for less than a day.
In remarks before their meeting, Netanyahu stated that Israel “so deeply” appreciates that this is Pompeo’s first visit abroad.
“I think this is a testament to the strength of our alliance and the strength of President Trump’s commitment to the State of Israel and the strength of your commitment to the State of Israel and our alliance as well. I want to thank you for that too,” the Israeli premier declared.
On COVID-19, Netanyahu noted that pandemic “is something that challenges the entire world, our two countries and everyone else. We would like to talk about strengthening our cooperation, our partnerships, in battling the coronavirus plague.”
Regarding the “unremitting Iranian aggression and terror” which is “plaguing our region,” Netanyahu thanked the US for acting against the Islamic Republic “that has not stopped for a minute its aggressive designs and its aggressive actions against Americans, Israelis and everyone else in the region.”
Netanyahu will discuss with Pompeo “how we can continue in our partnership to combat and confront and rollback Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, in Syria and everywhere else.”
Finally, he noted that Thursday marks 72 years since President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel and two years from the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by President Donald Trump.
“I think that this brackets the tremendous partnership that we have, the friendship that we have, the great sympathies that the people of Israel and the people of America have with one another,” he said.
Pompeo expressed his condolences for the death IDF soldier Amit Ben Yigal who was killed in action on Tuesday.
“It reminds us all of the importance of making sure that people all across the world know that Israel has the right to defend itself, and America will consistently support you in that effort,” he declared.
As for COVID, “Israeli technologies, Israeli medical expertise…I know we’ll deliver good outcomes and decrease risk for people all across the world from this global pandemic, ” he stated
“You’re a great partner. You share information, unlike some other countries that try and obfuscate and hide that information, and we’ll talk about that country, too,” he quipped, relating to allegations that China, from which COVID-19 emerged, hid information about the outbreak.
In regards to Iran, the campaign “to reduce the resources that the ayatollah has to inflict harm here in Israel and all across the world has borne fruit, it has been successful, and we’re going to stay at it,” he vowed, noting that “even during this pandemic the Iranians using the ayatollahs’, the regime’s resources to foment terror across the world even when the people of Iran are struggling so mightily tells you a lot about the soul of those people who lead that country.”
Pompeo also met with Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister-to-be Gabby Ashkenazi.