At Warsaw conference, Pence hails Netanyahu 'breaking bread' with Arab leaders

Cheryl Sanders
February 14, 2019

"What is important about this meeting, and it is not in secret, because there are many of those - is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran", the tweet said. And how they always get made when we say this?

"We operate every day, including yesterday, against Iran and its efforts to entrench itself in the region", Netanyahu said before boarding a flight to Poland for a conference focused on Tehran's activities in the Middle East.

Foreign ministers and other officials from more than 60 countries were gathering for the conference in Warsaw, which was starting on Wednesday evening and whose agenda included Iran, conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Netanyahu's surprising October 26, 2018, visit to Oman marked the first time an Israeli leader publicly visited the Gulf state since 1996.

Israel's shadow diplomacy with other influential regional actors has also markedly improved, of late.

The absence of foreign ministers from major European powers, Germany and France, highlights festering tensions with the European Union over US President Donald Trump's decision a year ago to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions.

Several million Yemenis face starvation and the country has suffered one of the worst cholera outbreaks in modern times as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - backed by the USA - seek to bomb and blockade the country's Houthi rebels into surrender.

The United States and Poland kicked off an global conference on the Middle East on Wednesday.

"We're trying to expand the number of nations who are engaged and have a stake in the future of a peaceful and prosperous Middle East", Brian Hook, the state department's special representative for Iran, told Reuters news agency. "But Netanyahu and Gulf countries are eager to focus on Iran".

US Vice President Mike Pence is leading Washington's delegation, which includes US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is also Donald Trump's son-in-law.

But with few RSVPs coming, Poland and the USA have towned down the agenda to focus on ways of promoting peace and security in the Middle East.

Hosting the meeting is a chance for Poland's conservative government to bolster ties with Washington at a time when it is increasingly isolated within the European Union amid a dispute over its adherence to rule-of-law standards.

Other reports by iNewsToday