(June 12, 2018 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended U.S. President Donald Trump on his “historic” summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday.
“I commend U.S. President Donald Trump on the historic summit in Singapore. This is an important step in the effort to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons,” he said in a statement.
Netanyahu, who has been outspoken in his warnings regarding Iran’s nuclear program, also praised the American leader for his “strong stand” against Iranian efforts to “arm itself with nuclear weapons and against its aggression in the Middle East.”
“This is already affecting the Iranian economy. President Trump’s policy is an important development for Israel, the region and the entire world,” said Netanyahu.
Despite international sanctions, both Iran and North Korea have a long history of military cooperation, especially on exchange of ballistic-missile technology.
In Singapore, Trump and Kim became the first leaders of their respective countries to meet, potentially ending decades of hostility.
“We’re very proud of what took place today,” Trump said following their summit. “I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean Peninsula is going to be a very much different situation than it has in the past.”
Both leaders signed a statement after their meeting, as Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea, and Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Afterwards, Trump expressed hope that Iran would be willing to sit down and negotiate a “real deal.”
“I hope that, at the appropriate time, after the sanctions kick in—and they are brutal what we’ve put on Iran—I hope that they’re going to come back and negotiate a real deal because I’d love to be able to do that. But right now, it’s too soon to do that,” Trump told reporters after meeting Kim.
“I think Iran is a different country now than it was three or four months ago,” he added. “I don’t think they’re looking so much to the Mediterranean, I don’t think they’re looking so much at Syria like they were, with total confidence, I don’t think they’re so confident right now.”
At the start of his cabinet meeting this past week, Netanyahu made similar comments following his recent trip to Europe, where he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
“These leaders agree with my main objective, which is to put together broad international consensus that Iran must withdraw from Syria—all of Syria,” said Netanyahu. “That was the purpose of the trip, and to a large extent, it was achieved.”