(June 10, 2018 / Israel Hayom) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet on Sunday that his recent trip to Europe last week had resulted in “broad international agreement” that Iranian forces must withdraw from Syria.
Addressing the weekly cabinet meeting, he said that in his meetings last week with three key world leaders—German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May—he chose to focus on Iranian aggression in the region in general, but first and foremost on Iran’s attempts to gain a military foothold in Syria.
“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.”
He told his cabinet, “I know that ridding Syria of Iran’s presence will be a long process, but I believe that if you set a goal and you know where you’re headed, you have a good chance of getting there.”
“At any rate, I made it clear that we will take aggressive action against attempts to established security threats [in Syria], and, of course, against any attack on us,” he continued. “I think that this is understandable and accepted by these leaders.”
Speaking with May on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he had two goals: “The first is to make sure that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. And the second is specifically in Syria.”
Netanyahu told May he was certain that Israel and Britain could find “ways to work together” to achieve both those goals.
In a joint statement following his meeting with Macron, Netanyahu said that he saw “nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical Islamic regime like Tehran” as the “greatest threat to the world today.”
Netanyahu said that Iran withdrawing from Syria was a “prerequisite” for Syria’s rehabilitation and for its prosperity, and even for stability in the Middle East as a whole.