US State Dept. Denies Netanyahu Talked West Bank Annexation With Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens as Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the White House on March 25, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford.

Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not bring up the contentious issue of annexing the Jordan Valley during a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Portugal, a senior Trump administration official told reporters Saturday.

“I can tell you that there was no annexation plan, full or partial, for any part of the West Bank presented by Israel to the United States during the meeting, and that has long been the US government position, that the ultimate disposition of territory is to be determined between the parties,” Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker said in a statement.

The comments apparently contradict remarks Netanyahu made to Israeli media on Thursday, with the premier explicitly stating that he spoke to Pompeo about the annexation plan.

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