Trump advisor Bolton to hold 'regional security' talks in Israel

Washington (AFP) –


US National Security Advisor John Bolton will travel to Israel at the weekend for "regional security talks" with top Russian and Israeli officials, the White House said Thursday amid spiking tensions with Iran.

Bolton will meet Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by talks with his Israeli and Russian counterparts, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev, NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis said.

Bolton also will meet with the director general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission Zeev Snir.

The NSC announcement came just hours after Iran shot down a US drone in what Washington called an unprovoked attack.

Tehran said the drone, a high-flying Global Hawk, was brought down with a surface-to-air missile after it entered its airspace. The US military said the drone was in international airspace.

"Iran made a very big mistake!" US President Donald Trump tweeted.

It was the latest of a series of incidents in and around the strategic Strait of Hormuz that have sent regional tensions soaring.

The United States has accused Iran of attacks on shipping in the area, including suspected mine explosions on two tankers last week.

Adding to the uncertainty is Iran's threat to stop observing some restrictions on its nuclear program in retaliation for the United States' unilateral withdrawal last year from a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.