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White House adviser Bolton to travel to Israel for talks with Russian, Israeli officials

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets United States National Security Advisor John Bolton in the Kremlin, October 2018. (en.Kremlin.ru/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s national-security adviser, John Bolton, will travel to Israel during the upcoming weekend for “regional security talks” with Russian and Israeli officials, the White House says.

Spokesman Garrett Marquis said on June 20 that Bolton will meet on June 23 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then hold talks with Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev, his Israeli and Russian counterparts.

The trip will come at a time of rising tensions between the United States and Iran, especially following Tehran’s downing of a U.S. drone in disputed circumstances.

Tehran says the drone was over its territory, while Washington says it was in international waters.

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U.S. Senator Angus King, an independent who usually caucuses with Democrats, has warned that Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are working to make Trump “feel boxed in” so that he believes he has no other option but to strike Iran militarily.

“What really worries me,” King continued, “is that the secretary of state and John Bolton, national security adviser, are moving us into a position where the president will feel boxed in and he has to respond in some military way. Because I don’t think that’s his instinct,” he told CNN.