Russia and Ukraine at center of Blinken talks with Israeli minister | WJHL

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday thanked Israel for its efforts to end Russia’s war with Ukraine as he and his Israeli counterpart met to discuss the conflict and ongoing nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna.

Blinken said any move to end the conflict would be welcome as long as the move is consistent with US, NATO and European principles that Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected. .

He made the comments as he and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid sat down for hastily arranged talks in the Latvian capital of Riga, just two days after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met the Russian president. Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

“We very much appreciate the efforts that any of our close partners, friends and allies can make to see if there is an opening to end the war, in accordance, of course, with the principles that we have all established,” Blinken told Lapid.

“I look forward to hearing your ideas, to hearing about some of the commitments that Israel has had, but we appreciate all efforts by friends and allies to seek a diplomatic resolution,” he said.

Lapid, who traveled to Latvia specifically to brief Blinken on Bennett’s meeting with Putin and to express Israel’s grave concern over the prospect of a new nuclear deal with Iran, said the meeting was taking place “at a time when the world order is changing”.

“The war in Ukraine and the nuclear talks in Vienna are events that change the world as we know it,” he said. He said Israel is “totally committed” to doing everything in its power to end the war in Ukraine.

On Iran, Lapid noted Israel’s concerns over nuclear talks potentially on the verge of a breakthrough, saying Israel has well-known differences with the United States over a deal, even though they share the ultimate goal of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“It’s no secret that we have our differences on this, but this is a conversation between allies who have a common goal, which is to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold country and to prevent Iran from spreading terror and instability around the world,” he added. said Lapid.

Blinken replied that Israel and the United States are “united and committed to the proposition that Iran must never obtain a nuclear weapon.”

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