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Netanyahu Thanks President Trump, Condemns Capitol Rampage

Photo Credit: GPO
Photo Credit: GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Trump and condemned the violence at the US Capitol. The remarks came in advance of a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Jerusalem on Thursday.

"For generations American democracy has inspired millions around the world and in Israel. American democracy has always inspired me,” Netanyahu said.

“Lawlessness and violence are the opposite of the values we know Americans and Israelis cherish. The rampage at the Capitol yesterday was a disgraceful act that must be vigorously condemned,” he said.

“I have no doubt that American democracy will prevail - it always has,” Netanyahu added.

A mob of rioters breached the Capitol Building on Wednesday sending lawmakers into lockdown.

Mnuchin also condemned the violence as “completely unacceptable.”

“Our democratic institutions have been strong for a very long period of time. Our democracy will prevail and our institutions will remain strong,” Mnuchin said.

“Now is the time for our nation to come together as one and to respect the democratic process in the United States,” Mnuchin added.

Mnuchin was in Sudan on Tuesday for the signing of an “Abraham Accords” agreement, paving the way for that African nation to open up full diplomatic relations with Israel.

Sudan was the third country to sign the accords, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Morocco has also agreed to normalize ties with Israel.

Netanyahu noted that Mnuchin was last in Jerusalem in October when he accompanied the UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs, the first ever official visit of a senior Emirati official.

“I want to thank President Trump and all of you in the administration for all you have done and are doing for peace,” Netanyahu said.

“You've made a real difference, achieving one breakthrough after another, bringing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan into the circle of peace. I have no doubt that more Arab and Muslim countries will follow,” he said.

Netanyahu also commended Trump for what he called “the maximum pressure campaign” against Iran. He thanked Mnuchin and said that under his leadership, the US Dept. of Treasury had played “a crucial role in applying and enforcing sanctions on the Iranian regime.”

“It must be continued to prevent Iran from continuing its campaign of aggression and terror throughout the region and to prevent Iran from rushing to a nuclear arsenal,” Netanyahu said.

President Trump withdrew the US from the Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  Joe Biden has pledged to re-enter the agreement if Iran sticks to its part of the deal. But just this week, Iran already ramped up its uranium enrichment to 20% at one of its underground nuclear facilities, putting it on track to develop a nuclear weapon.

“If we just go back to the JCPOA, what will happen and may already be happening is that many other countries in the Middle East will rush to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. That is a nightmare and that is folly. It should not happen,” Netanyahu said.

Mnuchin also issued a warning for any future talks with Iran.

“It is imperative that any future negotiations with Iran on both nuclear as well as ballistic missiles need to be done in conjunction and in consultation with Israel and its Arab neighbors,” Mnuchin said.

One of the reasons behind the Abraham Accords at this time, is the threat of Iran common to both Muslim states and Israel.

“Iran can never have a nuclear weapon and Iran must stop its terrorist activities that threaten both Israel and its Arab neighbors,” Mnuchin said.

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