US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reaffirmed US commitments to the Israelis and the Palestinians, emphasizing US support for peace and maintaining the path to two-state negotiations.
Sullivan discussed promoting equal measures of security, prosperity and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians, according to the White House statement, during a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Sullivan arrived in Israel on Wednesday on his first visit since the formation of the new government, where he met with a number of officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in turn believed that the recent movements of the Palestinians on the international arena is an attack on his country and requires an Israeli response.
While Sullivan did not meet with any of the government ministers of the religious Zionist party or the extremist Jewish power, the US national security adviser held a meeting in Jerusalem with Benny Gantz, member of the Knesset, head of the official camp party and former minister of defense.
The two sides discussed the need to deepen regional cooperation established in recent years and strengthen operations against Iran, and the steps needed to maintain security stability in the Palestinian arena.
Gantz told Sullivan he has no doubt that the alliance between Israel and the United States, based on common values and interests, will remain a pillar of national security for Israel and the region.
The meeting was attended by the US president’s adviser on Middle East affairs, Brett McGurk, the US ambassador to Israel, Thomas Nidis, and the Israeli ambassador to the US, Mike Herzog.
Meanwhile, settlers established an informal settlement in the northern West Bank after a rabbi from religious Zionism.
The Jerusalem municipality delayed approval of the construction of settlement units during Sullivan’s stay in Israel, in what was seen as an effort to avoid straining relations with the US administration.
The municipality, in contact with Al-Hurra, said that the postponement was made for technical reasons, and that it would be presented later.
In all his meetings with Israeli officials, Sullivan emphasized the importance of the United States’ long-term partnership with Israel, which celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary this year, noting that this partnership is “founded on common interests and democratic values.” .
In his meetings with senior Israeli officials, Sullivan emphasized the United States’ commitment to ensuring that Iran will never be able to obtain a nuclear weapon. He also discussed the war in Ukraine and the emerging defense partnership between Russia and Iran and its implications for security in the Middle East.
He emphasized that the administration continues to support the path of the two-state solution, stressing the urgent need for either party to avoid unilateral steps that will fuel tensions on the ground, paying special attention to preserving the historical status quo concerning the holy sites in Jerusalem.
Steps to expand the circle of peace through the Abraham Accords were discussed, with a focus on a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.
According to Axios, citing informed US officials, in a private meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday, the White House’s national security adviser raised reservations about the Israeli government’s plan to amend the country’s legal system.
US officials said Sullivan also raised the Biden administration’s concerns about the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
In addition, Sullivan agreed with his Israeli counterpart, Tzachi Hanegbi, to continue the dialogue on strategic cooperation with the aim of maintaining professional work on the Iranian file.
The US national security adviser also held a virtual meeting with his counterparts in the UAE, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Bahrain, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, with the participation of Hanegbi, where they celebrated their commitment to deepening which Abraham declared. Agree and discuss practical steps to promote common interests in the region, he said.
The statement added that promising new partnerships across the region were discussed, including “I2U2” (Israel, India, US, UAE) and technological innovation to address the food security crisis and Negev Forum working groups that recently brought together officials from six countries in Abu has. Dhabi To enhance cooperation in the fields of food security, water technology, clean energy, tourism, regional security, health care, education and coexistence.
The national security advisers focused specifically on the climate crisis and welcomed the UAE’s hosting of COP28 later this year.
They agreed to stay in regular contact in the coming weeks and months to work on expanding engagement to include new partners and to coordinate on common interests and challenges.
Meeting with the Palestinian Authority
Sullivan met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, where the latter called on the United States to intervene immediately to stop what he described as “devastating” Israeli measures to undermine the chances of peace. to end, to stop the two-state solution. and the signed agreements, according to the Wafa news agency.
Abbas stressed the importance of the US administration fulfilling its obligations to the Palestinian Authority, including preserving the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem and reopening the US consular office there.
Sullivan reviewed US commitments to the Palestinian people, including supporting the East Jerusalem hospital network and establishing fourth-generation infrastructure in the West Bank.
He also discussed the need for Palestinian leaders to help calm tensions in the West Bank and strengthen Palestinian institutions, according to a White House statement.