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Netanyahu says Iran is focus of US-sponsored Poland summit

Binyamin Netanyahu said Iran will be top of the agenda in Warsaw [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2019

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Israel's prime minister has said that Iran will be top of the agenda at a US-sponsored conference on Middle East peace in Poland's capital on Wednesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said that the focus of Wednesday's Middle East conference in Warsaw will be Iran, an issue that "unites Israel, the United States, many countries in the world".

Speaking to reporters before departing for Poland on Tuesday, Netanyahu said Israel enjoys "very good relations" with every country in the region "except Syria".

Wednesday's conference co-hosted by the US and Poland will focus on Middle East peace and security, but has been noted that among the 80 or so countries participating - including Israel - Iran was not invited.

Netanyahu does not expect President Donald Trump's much-touted "Deal of the Century" peace plan will be discussed. Rather, he said, participating countries will address "the most important topic for our national security", namely, Iran.

Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with King Salman in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in a bid to shore up support for the Palestinian Authority ahead of the Warsaw conference. The PA had on Monday urged Arab states to boycott or downgrade their delegations to the Warsaw summit, which was described by the PA's foreign minister as a "plot against the Palestinian cause".

The official Saudi news agency reported that the king expressed his "permanent stand" in support of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas adviser Majdi Khaldi says the Palestinian leader "affirmed the Palestinian position rejecting" Trump's anticipated "Deal of the Century" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The conference in Poland is officially billed as promoting regional peace and stability, but is widely seen as focusing on isolating Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Arab leaders are attending, but the Palestinians are not.

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