July 17, 2019

Pompeo: ‘We Are Committed to Israel’s Security and Its Right to Self-Defense’

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/Pool

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 20 and re-iterated the United States’ commitment to protecting Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Pompeo said in a joint press conference with Netanyahu, “With the threats of annihilation that Iran is making against Israel, we are committed to Israel’s security and its right to self-defense. With rocket threats from Gaza and threats from the North, we are proud to stand by your side.”

Netanyahu voiced his appreciation for the United States’ support, especially when it comes to Israel’s efforts to combat Iran, touting the Trump administration’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal.

There is no limitation to our freedom of action and we appreciate very much the fact that the United States backs up our actions,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also urged Pompeo to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, arguing that without Israel’s presence in the Golan, Iran would be “on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.” While Pompeo didn’t comment on the matter, according to the Associated Press, the Trump administration is expected to announce Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan next week. Netanyahu will be visiting the White House on March 25 and 26.

Pompeo is not expected to meet with other Israeli prime minister candidates while he is in the country. Israel’s Knesset election is April 9.