CIA director Bill Burns to visit Israel, Palestinian Authority

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CIA director Invoice Burns will go to Israel on Tuesday for the primary time since assuming workplace for talks which might be anticipated to give attention to Iran, Israeli officers inform me. He is additionally anticipated to satisfy Palestinian Authority officers in Ramallah.

Why it issues: Burns will arrive in Jerusalem with tensions operating sizzling between Israel and Iran over an alleged Iranian assault on an Israeli-linked oil tanker and amid escalation between Israel and Hezbollah on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

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  • He’ll meet David Barnea, director of the Mossad intelligence company, and is anticipated to satisfy Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and different senior protection and intelligence officers.

  • Israeli officers say the talks will give attention to Iran’s nuclear program and regional exercise, and that Israel hopes to listen to extra about U.S. coverage towards the brand new Iranian authorities and a attainable return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Burns can be anticipated to go to Ramallah to satisfy Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Faraj.

  • He is additionally anticipated to satisfy Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Israeli officers say.

  • A spokesperson for the CIA declined to touch upon Burns’ journey.

The massive image: Other than the 5 Eyes intelligence allies — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.Okay. and U.S. — Mossad is the overseas intelligence service with the closest ties to the CIA. Throughout the Trump presidency, the CIA and Mossad labored collectively on many operations towards Iran.

  • The CIA additionally has very shut cooperation with the Palestinian intelligence service on counterterrorism, which the company maintained even in spite of everything different communications between the Trump and Abbas governments broke down.

Flashback: Burns developed shut relationships with many Israeli and Palestinian officers — together with new Israeli ambassador to Washington Mike Herzog — throughout his lengthy State Division profession.

  • In 2013, Burns and nationwide safety advisor Jake Sullivan led the backchannel talks with Iran that preceded the nuclear deal, flying secretly to Oman to satisfy their Iranian counterparts with out notifying Israel or different allies.

  • Information of the talks sparked a deep disaster between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations.

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