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US, Israeli, Russian security chiefs to meet in Jerusalem

The upcoming meeting of Israeli, American and Russian national security leaders in Jerusalem is a major diplomatic achievement for the Israelis, particularly their prime minister.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem January 6, 2019. Oded Balilty/Pool via REUTERS *** Local Caption *** - RC1DF8CE4950
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Barring last-minute changes, senior Israeli and American officials will meet in the United States this coming week to prepare for a trilateral summit of the heads of the US, Russian and Israeli national security councils. National security advisers John Bolton, Nikolay Patrushev and Meir Ben-Shabbat will convene June 24 in the Israeli capital to discuss the post-war order in Syria.

“This is a crazy event. I don’t have sufficient superlatives to describe it,” an Israeli defense source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “It’s true that at this stage, the importance of the event is in the very decision to hold it, but think about it: Fifty-two years after Jerusalem’s liberation, we are bringing together there the heads of the American and Russian security councils to discuss arrangements for Syria after the war, with us as part of the process.” The official got somewhat carried away talking about a “new Sykes-Picot” — referring to the 1916 agreement dividing the region between the British and French colonial powers. Still, there is rare consensus in Israel about the summit being a tremendous achievement for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a strategic Israeli message to Iran and the rest of the Middle East that Israel is part of the axis of powers working together to instill a new order in the Middle East.

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