The U.S. and Israel are inching closer to a joint defense pact, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday. His remarks came after a scheduled meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Lisbon, Portugal.
“The meeting with Pompeo was critical for Israeli security,” Netanyahu said. “We agreed to promote a defense pact.”
Despite political pushback from his opponent MK Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, Netanyahu said he remains optimistic that he will garner support from the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli Security Forces.
“We will do it with full cooperation with the IDF and security forces and ensure total freedom of action for the US and the IDF,” Netanyahu said.
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. pic.twitter.com/UD2ql9JvuH
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) December 4, 2019
The two also discussed a shared interest in pressuring the Iranian regime. Moreover, Pompeo reaffirmed the Trump administration’s support for “Israel’s security.”
.@Netanyahu and I had another productive meeting this evening in Lisbon. We discussed efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing influence in the region, the importance of economic cooperation with regional partners and other issues related to Israel’s security. pic.twitter.com/nqdJjo6kPg
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 4, 2019