Netanyahu Schmoozes at Davos Economic Forum, Discusses Mideast Opportunities

Israel’s prime Minister suggested that the Mideast’s state of flux currently presents significant economic opportunities, common security needs, and even peace in the region.

By i24NEWS


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday–day three of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland–with world leaders in a series of diplomatic meetings that included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Netanyahu reiterated to Merkel the need to make “real – not cosmetic – changes that will prevent Iran from going nuclear which would otherwise be assured by the agreement as it stands,” a government press release stated.

While the German Chancellor acknowledged the potential ramifications of the current Iranian nuclear deal with regard to Israel, in particular, she did not see eye-to-eye with Netanyahu on the matter and explained that the Europeans would hold discussions among themselves and with the United States.

The Israeli prime minister was, nevertheless, satisfied with “Merkel’s genuine commitment to the security of Israel,” the statement read.

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu met with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on day 3 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. January 24, 2018 – Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO

The Israeli prime minister also discussed the Iran nuclear deal with his Canadian and Belgian counterparts as well as Swiss President Alain Bersetand, calling on them “to utilize the opportunity that has been created in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s declaration” on the issue.

Netanyahu vowed that he would not let Iran establish a military presence in Syria, which Israel is currently working to prevent.

Regarding the Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu said he would not “compromise on Israel’s security needs in any future agreement.”

The Israelis are reportedly trying to snag a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, after the two countries struck a deal that ended a six-months long diplomatic stand-off.

The prime minister invited all three leaders to visit Israel and “expressed his desire to deepen the economic and technological cooperation with Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland.”

The Israeli prime minister spoke with his Canadian counterpart about advancing their existing free trade agreement and with the Swiss president about opening new avenues for economic cooperation.

The Israeli prime minister also met on Wednesday with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who hosted the Israeli prime minister at the end of 2016 to celebrate the close ties between the Jewish and Muslim states, which also share a booming arms trade.

The Israeli PM also met with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday at the Davos World Economic Forum. Jan 24, 2018 – Photo:  Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO

Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, is officially secular, though nearly all its 10 million citizens are Muslims. Baku and Jerusalem have long had strong relations, with the former purchasing weapons and selling Israel oil.

Netanyahu is expected to meet French President Emmanuel Macron later on Wednesday.

The world’s corporate and political elite had warned against creeping resistance to globalization and free trade on Tuesday during day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


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