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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Netanyahu meets US envoy over Syria and Iran

Israeli PM discussed 'the situation in Syria and the joint effort to stop Iran’s terror and aggression' with James Jeffrey

Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the conflict but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes in Syria. Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters/File photo
Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the conflict but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes in Syria. Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters/File photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Sunday a US envoy for Syria for talks on the war-ravaged country and Iran, his office said.

Mr Netanyahu discussed “the situation in Syria and the joint effort to stop Iran’s terror and aggression” with James Jeffrey, the US special representative for Syria engagement, said a statement.

Before the visit, the US State Department said Mr Jeffrey, accompanied by US special envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn, would discuss “maintaining Israel’s security while countering Iran’s destabilising activity throughout the region”.

The pair would travel on to Jordan and Turkey, where they would repeat the US position against a military offensive in Idlib, the State Department said.

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They “will also address Russia’s specious allegations of international plans to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria” in their meetings across the region.

Iran is backing Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in his country’s civil war along with Russia and Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.

Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the conflict but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes in Syria to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weaponry to its Lebanese enemy Hezbollah.

It has also pledged to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, and a series of strikes that have killed Iranians in Syria have been attributed to Israel.