(26 Apr 2018) RESTRICTION SUMMARY: AP CLIENTS ONLY
POOL – AP CLIENTS ONLY
Arlington – 26 April 2018
1. Various of Secretary of Defense James Mattis hosting enhanced honor cordon to welcome Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to the Pentagon
2. Close of Sec.of Defense James Mattis and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman bilateral meeting, pull out to wide of meeting
3. Wide of meeting
4. Close of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman
5. Wide of meeting push to Secretary Mattis
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4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jim Mattis, U.S. Defense Secretary:
“(Journalist: Mr. Secretary, do you agree with the Israeli assessment that the weapons shipments from Iran to Syria are for the purpose of striking Israel? I can’t think of any other purpose for them right now. (Journalist: Can the US withdraw from the JCPOA?) We have not made a decision on that yet. (Journalist: Mr. Secretary, do you have concerns that Russia is thinking about providing the S-300 missile system to the Syrian regime?) I think anything that is done to continue this fighting in Syria is actually a tragedy. We need to all get behind the Geneva convention process, the Geneva process and come to a diplomatic solution for this. And Stephan de Mistura is been trying and Russia needs to help him if they want to see a way forward to a more on stable Middle East.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis hosted an enhanced honor cordon to welcome Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to the Pentagon.
The two defense counterparts held a bilateral meeting at the Pentagon Thursday, where the U.S. defense secretary was asked if he believed that a Russian shipment of S-300 missile were for the purpose of striking Israel.
Secretary Mattis said, “I can’t think of any other purpose for them right now.”
It has been reported that the Russian military has indicated it will supply the Syrian government with the sophisticated air defense system, after condemning a missile attack launched by the U.S., Britain and France earlier this month.
Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said in a statement Wednesday that Russia will supply Syria with “new missile defense systems soon.”
Rudskoi did not specify the type of weapons, but his remarks follow reports in the Russian media that Moscow is considering selling its S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Syria.
The defense secretary also said no decision has been made on the possible U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis earlier told senators at a hearing on the defense budget, of the value of certain aspects of the Iran nuclear agreement even as President Donald Trump weighs pulling out of what he has called an “insane” deal.
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