Netanyahu hails Warsaw talks with Arab states as 'turning point'

NEW YORK USA- JANUARY 26: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the media following a Security Council meeting on the situation in Venezuela at the United Nations headquarters in New York United States

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Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, has called for a "new era of co-operation" in the Middle East during a landmark conference in Poland that brought together Israel and Sunni Arab states for the first time in nearly three decades. "It's just not possible", Pompeo said alongside Netanyahu. "The three H's - the Houthis, Hamas and Hezbollah".

Washington aims to narrow differences between its Israeli and Arab allies to isolate Iran.

European powers, who oppose the Trump administration's decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Iran, were openly sceptical of a conference excluding Tehran. The main European powers have either sent low-level delegations or remained at the summit briefly, fearing United States motivations for the meeting.

"You can't achieve peace and stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran", Pompeo said. President Trump's long-planned peace plan is expected within months, although it has been delayed repeatedly.

"We hear Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel and we understand that there is a chance", Kushner told participants at the conference, adding that "they do a better job than me to explain why there is a reason to be optimistic".

The Polish capital is host for a two-day global conference on the Middle East, co-organized by Poland and the United States.

It remains to be seen how far the new alliance can extend to a combined approach to the Palestinian issue.

Netanyahu said many Arab countries were following Oman's lead in moving toward more open interaction with Israel, "including at this conference".

At the opening session, he sat next to Khaled Alyemany, the foreign minister of Yemen, and the two exchanged a brief smile. "They should take this into account", Netanyahu said. Netanyahu then joked it signalled a "new cooperation between Israel and Yemen", Greenblatt said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is calling for America's European allies to join it in withdrawing from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal and stop efforts he said are created to evade U.S. sanctions.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, posed for a historic family photo with Arab ministers in Warsaw at a summit created to counter Iran's regional ambitions.

Vice-President Mike Pence is leading the USA delegation, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House advisor Jared Kushner.

On Wednesday night in Warsaw, Netanyahu used a joint photo op with 10 Arab foreign ministers to urge Arab states to continue normalizing relations with Israel, hailing the opening event of the so-called "Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East" as a "historic turning point".

He spoke after his meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah.

Western European powers have criticized the United States pull-out from the nuclear deal with Iran, seeking to salvage it with a mechanism to help European firms doing business with the Islamic Republic avoid USA sanctions.

Iran quickly linked the attack to the Warsaw conference, where supporters of the formerly armed opposition plan a second day of protests on Thursday.

Pompeo has consistently made clear that all conversations about instability and threats in the Middle East end at Tehran's doorstep. "But Netanyahu and Gulf countries are eager to focus on Iran".

"The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and the Iranian people ... to stand with our allies and friends in the region", he said.

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