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NSA Bolton Meets Russian Counterpoint in Geneva after Israel Visit

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton meets on Thursday in Geneva with his Russian counterpart. Winding up his Jerusalem stopover where he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other senior officials, Bolton told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Israeli premier are in basic agreement about the need to get Iran out of Syria when the civil war ends. Russia, though, claims it can’t make that happen alone, a comment in which many observers see a hint that the two superpowers could coordinate and work together to make that happen. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Bolton said the timetable for revealing the highly-anticipated Trump peace proposal has not yet been decided upon. When it does come, it faces a daunting effort to get the sides to accept it. Palestinian leaders have declared that it is already dead and show little willingness to back down. Regarding Iran, Bolton insisted that sanctions have had a profound effect on the Islamic Republic and the U.S. would like to see sanctions greater than those that were implemented before the deal with the Western powers reduced pressure on the Iranian regime. He said, “The Iran nuclear deal mitigated the effects of its mismanagement of the economy and gave the regime new life.” But rather than regime change, the American goal is regime “change of behavior.”

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