Israeli Prime Minister underlined warm ties between Russia and Israel.
Moscow, Russia.- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday for talks focusing on Iranian presence in Syria — an issue that is expected to top the agenda of the upcoming U.S.-Russian summit.
While the Russian and Israeli leaders sat down for talks in the Kremlin, a senior Iranian envoy also headed to Moscow amid intensive Syria-focused diplomatic efforts ahead of Putin’s summit in Helsinki on Monday with President Donald Trump. Netanyahu underlined warm ties between Russia and Israel, emphasizing what he described as their key stabilizing role for the Mideast.
“Every visit like this is an opportunity for us to act together and try and stabilize the situation in our region and increase security and increase stability,” Netanyahu said. “Obviously, our focus is on Syria and Iran. Our opinion is known that Iran needs to leave Syria — that is not something new for you.”
Both the United States and Israel are concerned about Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, where it has provided crucial aid to President Bashar Assad’s forces. Israel has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran, or its Shiite proxies, to establish a permanent presence in a postwar Syria.
Russia, another top key ally of Assad, has warned it would be unrealistic to expect Iran to fully withdraw from the country. However, there have recently been signs of an emerging compromise among key players.
Media reports suggested that at Monday’s meeting in Helsinki, Putin and Trump could reach a deal that would envisage the deployment of Syrian government forces alongside the frontier with the Israeli-held side of the Golan Heights and the withdrawal of Iranian forces and their proxy Hezbollah militia from the area