Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with US Defense Secretary James Mattis in Jerusalem Friday morning to discuss joint US-Israeli efforts to stabilize the region and address strategic threats including the Iranian regime and the ISIS terror group.
In a joint press briefing at the beginning of the meeting, Netanyahu praised the Trump administration’s shift in policy towards Iran and its client state, Syria, calling it a “welcome change”.
“We sense a great change in the direction of American policy,” said the Prime Minister. “We know that the very clear and forthright words, Mr. Secretary, that you had to say about Iran, this follows very strong and forthright words on the part of President Trump and very forthright deeds against the use of chemical weapons by Iran's proxy, Syria. This has been appreciated around the world and in our region. I think this is a welcome change, a strategic change of American leadership and American policy.
“We have common values and also common dangers. The common dangers are based on the twin threats of militant Islam – the Shiite extremists led by Iran and the Sunni extremists led by Daesh [ISIS]. We are committed to thwarting these dangers as we are committed to seize the common opportunities and great opportunities that I think are before us, Mr. Secretary, because of the understanding of many of our Arab neighbors as to the commonality of the threat but also as to the opportunities of the future.”
Secretary of Defense Mattis warned that regional allies would need to unite to confront both ISIS and the Iranian regime.
“The two dangers that face Israel and all of the other nations in the region that are trying to maintain a stable and peaceful and prosperous region are those that I'm here to discuss with the Prime Minister, especially the week before Holocaust remembrance,” said Mattis.
“I think it's important that we remind ourselves that if good people don't band together then bad people can do a lot of damage in this world. And we're committed to stopping that and doing whatever it takes to pass on peace and freedom to the next generation.”