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Bolton Visits Amidst Regional Tensions

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Posted on: 
7 Jan 2019
Bolton Visits Amidst Regional Tensions
US National Security Adviser John Bolton and several other Trump Administration officials were in Jerusalem over the weekend for high-level meetings covering a range of bi-lateral issues including the ongoing struggle with Iran and tri-lateral relations between the US, Israel and China. Of particular concern to the US, Bolton told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, is the management of the Haifa Port by a Chinese company with strong links to the government in Beijing. The Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) is majority-owned by the Chinese government, but Intelligence and Transportation Minister Israel Katz issued a bland statement that "The State of Israel is dealing with all aspects connected to the establishment and management of infrastructure by foreign companies in Israel."

Another issue dealt with by the two officials was the impending US withdrawal from Syria and the implications for Israel, particularly on the Golan Heights.

“The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security,” Netanyahu said Sunday evening during a joint press appearance with Bolton. “President Trump has said repeatedly that he backs Israel’s right to self-defense. He says it proudly and unequivocally,” Bolton said. “And I would just say to any nation in this region – or not in this region – that has any doubt about America’s support for Israel’s self-defense – it better think about it again.”

In previous comments to the press, he also spoke about another American ally in the region, saying; “We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States – at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered.”

Earlier on Sunday, Bolton, who was accompanied on his visit to Jerusalem by US ambassador David Friedman, and Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, visited the Western Wall and other nearby historical sites in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Here is a video of a joint press appearance with Bolton and Netanyahu on Sunday

Here is the video of Bolton's visit to the Western Wall


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