Netanyahu to meet US Secretary of State Pompeo in Brussels later Monday
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Netanyahu to meet US Secretary of State Pompeo in Brussels later Monday

Reportedly ‘urgent’ sit-down comes amid heightened tensions with Iran, and with Washington reportedly gearing up to release its peace plan

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the UN in New York on September 26, 2018 (Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the UN in New York on September 26, 2018 (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fly to Brussels for a brief trip Monday in order to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office told the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom daily that the evening sit-down was “urgent.” A brief statement from the PMO only said the two men would discuss “regional developments.”

The prime minister will be joined by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat and military secretary Col. Avi Blot.

The meeting had been scheduled last week and set for Wednesday, but was moved up to Monday because Pompeo will be flying back from Europe early in order to attend the funeral for former US president George H.W. Bush.

Pompeo was in Europe for meetings with top diplomats of every NATO country.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly, September 26, 2018, at UN Headquarters. At right are Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The PMO said that Netanyahu’s flight had yet to receive final approval and that there could be delays to the meeting schedule.

The meeting comes a week after UN Ambassador Danny Danon told reporters that Trump administration officials had alerted Israel that it has finished structuring its peace plan and that it intends to present it early next year. Danon said that Washington had discussed with Jerusalem the timing for unveiling the proposal.

The Palestinians severed ties with the Trump administration after its decision last December to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel’s capital.

The US administration has cut more than $500 million in Palestinian aid since the start of the Palestinian boycott.

The meeting also comes at a time of heightened tensions with Iran amid reimposed US sanctions, and after Pompeo accused Tehran of testing nuclear-capable missiles in violation of a United Nations resolution.

Pompeo and Netanyahu last met during the secretary of state’s visit to Israel last April.

Then, the top US diplomat vowed that Trump would exit the Iranian nuclear deal if the US administration “can’t fix it.” A month later, Washington pulled out of the pact.

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