The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet in Lisbon on December 4. Pompeo has accompanied the First Lady and US President Donald Trump on his London visit to attend the 70th anniversary of the military alliance, NATO. According to the US State Department, Pompeo will be in Lisbon on Wednesday and Thursday where he will also have a meeting with the Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa and Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. The hasty arrangement of meetings with top Portuguese diplomats which also Israel's ally could be aimed at providing Netanyahu with a boost.
Pompeo and Netanyahu are reportedly expected to talk about the issues which the Israeli PM discussed on a phone call with Trump on December 1. The White House said in a brief statement that Trump and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the threat from Iran and other issues.
Just last month, Netanyahu praised Pompeo for an announcement of softening of the longtime position of US on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. It was Pompeo who declared that Wahington will no longer consider the Jewish settlements to be a violation of the international law. However, this shift of policy by the US Secretary of State was criticised by Palestinians along with Arab leaders.
The relations between the US and Iran have worsened over the past years since Trump decided to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with other world powers and reimposed sanctions on the country. The discussions between both the leaders have not yet been disclosed, however, it comes after Netanyahu along with the Israeli Foreign Ministry criticised six European countries as they joined INSTEX which is a barter mechanism designed to pass the American sanctions by avoiding the use of the dollar.
Netanyahu expressed his disagreement with European countries sidestepping sanctions on Iran by their 'rush to appease'. Not only that, the Prime Minister of Israel scolded the members of INSTEX and said that they encourage the Iranian regime of repression of its citizens and 'should be ashamed of themselves'. Netanyahu also pointed out to the anti-government protests in the country and said that the Iranian regime is 'killing its own people' and the European countries 'rush to support that very murderous regime'.