Israeli PM to meet top US diplomat in Lisbon

  • Lusa
  • 4 December 2019

Netanyahu is arriving in Lisbon on Wednesday for a visit during which he will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is arriving in Lisbon on Wednesday for a visit during which he will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an official source from the Israeli embassy told Lusa on Tuesday.

“It will be an unofficial visit,” the source of the Israeli embassy in Portugal said, also revealing that a meeting with the head of US diplomacy is planned.

Mike Pompeo announced on 27 November that he would be in Lisbon at the end of this week.

The head of the United States diplomacy has planned meetings in the Portuguese capital with the Prime Minister, António Costa, and the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva.

Lusa also contacted the United States embassy in Lisbon to try to get more details about the meeting between the two representatives, but has not received any clarification.

The Jerusalem Post, which cited a source from the office of the Israeli Prime Minister to confirm the trip to Lisbon, said that the focus of the meeting between Netanyahu and Pompeo should be Iran, indicating, however, that other issues could be included in the meeting, including the possible annexation of the Jordan Valley (eastern part of the West Bank) and a defense pact between the United States (USA) and Israel.

The paper stated that Netanyahu spoke about these three issues on Sunday during a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump.

On 27 November, the US State Department announced that Mike Pompeo would travel to Lisbon on 6 December, at the end of a diplomatic tour that also includes the United Kingdom (where the NATO summit is taking place) and Morocco.

Earlier this week, according to the Jerusalem Post, it was reported that Netanyahu was planning a trip to London to meet Pompeo and other international leaders on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

However, the acting Israeli Prime Minister’s office has never officially announced this visit.

According to the newspaper, Netanyahu, who has recently been accused by the Israeli Public Prosecutor’s Office of three cases of corruption, is said to have had difficulty scheduling meetings with some of Europe’s top leaders.

The last meeting between Netanyahu and Pompeo took place in Jerusalem last October.