Netanyahu Asks Trump for Slow Syria Withdrawal


Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked U.S. President Donald Trump to carry out the American troop withdrawal from Syria at a measured pace, according to a senior Israeli official on Monday.

Differing versions regarding President Trump’s response appeared in Israeli media.

According to Haaretz, the president was “positively considering” the request.

But in The Jerusalem Post’s coverage, PM Netanyahu was “assured” by the president that he would comply with the request.

The Times of Israel said only that Netanyahu had made the request, but did not comment on Trump’s response.

None of the media reports named the official who was the source of the story.

“The prime minister thinks that the U.S. withdrawal from Syria presents an opportunity,” the official was quoted by Ynet as saying. “So far, the Iranian presence on the ground (in Syria) has not changed since the American decision.”

The two leaders spoke over the phone following the White House decision to exit Syria earlier this month.

PM Netanyahu will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brasilia on Tuesday, and with President Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton next Sunday in Yerushalayim, where the issue will presumably be discussed further.

The prime minister is also considering flying to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next month to meet with Trump, according to the reports.