Jun 4, 2019

U.S. to use summit in Jerusalem to press Russia on Iranian presence in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

A senior White House official said in a conference call with reporters that the U.S. plans to stress to Russia during its trilateral national security advisers summit in Jerusalem this month that Iranian forces and their proxies have to leave Syria.

Why it matters: The trilateral meeting between the national security advisers of Israel, the U.S. and Russia in late June is an unprecedented event. The White House official said the main focus of the summit will be Syria and Iran's activities in Syria, Lebanon and the rest of the region.

  • Israel wants to use the summit to push the U.S. and Russia closer together in order to get a deal on Syria that would push Iranian forces out of the country.
  • The White House official said that the U.S. and Israel are waiting to hear what proposals Russia will bring to the meeting.

National security adviser John Bolton is going to stress during the summit that Iran is not playing any positive role in Syria or the region as a whole, according to the official. The official added that the Trump administration is very concerned with Iranian actions in Syria and supports Israeli airstrikes against Iranian military entrenchment in the country.

"We are sure the Iranians are not happy that this meeting is taking place and that the Israelis are publicly hosting the Americans and the Russians together in Jerusalem to talk about Iran. The fact the Russians are attending this meeting is important in itself."
— Senior White House official

Go deeper: U.S. tells Russia it backs Israeli airstrikes in Syria as long as Iran stays

Go deeper

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.