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Pompeo to Israel: U.S. focus is still on Iran 'threat'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 18, 2019 - Duration: 01:25s

Pompeo to Israel: U.S. focus is still on Iran 'threat'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored U.S.-Israeli efforts to counter Iran in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, in an apparent attempt to ease concerns in Israel that Tehran could exploit a U.S. military pullback in Syria.

Lauren Anthony reports.

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Pompeo to Israel: U.S. focus is still on Iran 'threat'

Mike Pompeo is attempting to sooth Israel's concerns over Iran and the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

During a visit to Israel on Friday (October 18) the American Secretary of State underscored U.S.-Israeli efforts to counter Iran with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

That, after Israeli worries that Tehran could exploit the U.S. military pullback for its own ends.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "We talked about all the efforts we've made to push back against the threat not only to Israel but to the region and the world from the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we shared our ideas about how we can ensure Middle East stability together, and how we would further our efforts to jointly combat all the challenges that the world confronts here in the Middle East, and we appreciate all that you and your country does to assist American keeping its people safe as well.

" The pair met in Jerusalem - hours after Turkey agreed to put its attack on Kurdish forces in Syria on pause.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SPEAKING: "The Middle East is a sea of troubles and turbulence, but if there is one thing that stands out its the durability, stability and strength of the American-Israel alliance.

We talked about making it even stronger and I want to thank you for your consistent support." Israel sees Syria's Kurdish forces - who were once U.S. allies - as a counterweight to Islamist insurgents in northern Syria.

And worries that long-term rival Iran, or its local allies, could fill the vacuum left by the U.S.

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