U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived in Jerusalem Saturday, ahead of a June 24-26 tripartite meeting with his counterparts from Israel and Russia, Meri Ben-Shabbat and Nikolay Patrushev, respectively. Bolton is slated to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday, apparently to more closely align their positions, many of which are antithetical to Russian interests. For example, last week Patrushev released a statement arguing that “Iran is in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate [Assad] government and is actively involved in fighting terrorism. Therefore, of course, we will have to take into account the [country’s demands].” Moscow could, however, simply be posturing in a bid to exact concessions from Washington and Jerusalem on other issues, such as Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and the existence of U.S. economic sanctions on numerous Russian individuals and businesses. Nevertheless, all three countries have billed the gathering as crucial for ensuring regional security as tensions mount between Washington and Tehran in the Gulf and amid ongoing fears that the Islamic Republic’s militarization of Syria could lead to a conflict with the Jewish state.
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