Jerusalem will host an unprecedented U.S.-Israel-Russia trilateral meeting involving top security officials by the end of the month.
The meeting was first announced by the White House at the end of March. “The United States National Security Adviser Ambassador John Bolton, Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolay Patrushev will meet in Jerusalem,” said the White House press secretary on Wednesday.
Following the announcement in Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the planned meeting as an important opportunity. “We have a lot of things that we want to do […] a meeting like this has never taken place before in Israel. Never.”
On 14 June, a date was finally set for the anticipated U.S.-Israel-Russia trilateral. Officials from Russia and the United States will meet with Israeli counterparts on 24 June. Meetings will continue through the 26th.
Not a lot of speculation is needed to figure out what the main topic of the trilateral will be. Talks will almost certainly be focused solely on Iran’s presence in Syria. In fact, the meeting was first proposed by PM Netanyahu during a visit to the Kremlin in February, undertaken to discuss with President Putin Iran’s activity in Syria.
Many observers have seen the success in planning the trilateral as a positive sign for getting Russia on board with their positions on Iran containment. Indeed, even Russia has recognized the threat of an Iran running amok in the region. U.S. and Israeli officials hope that it could prepare the ground for a deal that would further weaken Russian ties to Iran and reduce, if not terminate, Iran’s presence in Syria.