NETANYAHU TO BOLTON: TIME FOR U.S. TO RECOGNIZE GOLAN HEIGHTS IN ISRAEL SOVEREIGNTY.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday and said that under the leadership of US President Donald Trump US-Israel relations were never better.
BY HERB KEINON. JANUARY 6, 2019
With the US on the verge of withdrawing its troops from Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his first public appeal Sunday alongside a senior US official for recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security,” Netanyahu said Sunday evening alongside US National Security Advisor John Bolton following a meeting between them in his residence.
The premier said that, weather permitting, he hoped to helicopter to the strategic plateau on Monday with Bolton so that “you will be able to understand perfectly why we will never leave the Golan Heights, and why it is important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
Netanyahu said that he has discussed the matter with US President Donald Trump. Bolton, who arrived Saturday for talks aimed at reassuring Israel following Trump’s decision last month to withdraw 2,000 US troops from northeast Syria, said that the withdrawal will be done in a way to ensure that Islamic State is defeated and unable to “revive itself;” that Israel’s defense and that of “our other friends in the region is absolutely assured;” and that those who fought with the US against Islamic State are “taken care of.”
Bolton said that for the US, the “ultimate mark of sovereignty” is a country’s ability to defend itself.
“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.”
Bolton said that under Netanyahu and Trump “we have the best Israel-US relationship in our history, and on our side we are certainly determined to continue that.”
Netanyahu expressed Israel’s appreciation to Trump for walking away “from the dangerous Iran deal and imposing sanctions,” as well as moving the capital to Jerusalem, and “unequivocally backing Israel at the United Nations.”
He said that the US has backed “in word and in deed” Israel’s right to defend itself, “which we exercise constantly. It is important, he continued, “ to know that we have the support and backing of our great friend and ally, the United states of America.”