Defense Secretary of the US urges Netanyahu to comply with Aqaba Agreement

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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to abide by the recent Aqaba agreement and work to reduce escalation in the occupied West Bank, Jo24 reported.

The meeting between Lloyd Austin and Benjamin Netanyahu was held near Ben Gurion Airport, but it faced delays due to mass protests and demonstrations in numerous locations that resulted in arrests and clashes between security personnel and protesters. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who received the US Defense Secretary earlier, attended the meeting alongside Netanyahu, Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi.

During the meeting, Austin urged Netanyahu towards “immediate steps to de-escalate violence and work towards a just and lasting peace”, according to a Pentagon press statement.
Austin “emphasized the importance of implementing commitments made by Israeli and Palestinian senior officials” and “called for a halt in unilateral actions that undermine the enduring goal of two states with Palestinians and Israelis enjoying equal measures of freedom, security, opportunity, justice, and dignity.”

In turn, Netanyahu welcomed Austin and highlighted the US and Israel’s “shared agenda to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, to stop Iranian aggression, to protect regional security and prosperity, and to expand the circle of peace”, an Israeli news outlet reported.

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