Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived on Friday for a lightning visit to Sochi to get acquainted with Russian President Vladimir Putin for conversations expected to be focused on Iran and Syria.
Bennett will be alone in the Russian seaside resort city for about five hours, in which he are first meeting with the Russian leader since entry office before spraying back to Israel Friday afternoon for the start of Shabbat at sunset. The leaders also spoke two weeks ago when Bennett congratulated Putin on his 69th birthday.
“The two will be a series of diplomatic, security and economic issues involving both countries, as well as important regional issues, especially nuclear programthe Prime Minister’s Office said during the visit announced a few days ago. His spokesman said the trip came at Putin’s invitation.
Speaking from the asphalt for taking off, Bennett praised the importance of tyres with Moscow, which sees Israel as an important regional player because of his support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Influence die he exercises over Tehran.
“The ties between Russia and Israel are an important pillar” of Israel’s foreign policy, both because of Russia special position in the region And his international status, and also because there are a million Russian speakers in Israel who are a bridge between the two countries,” he said in a video distributed by his office.
“In general, the foreign policy and international status of Israel is getting significantly stronger. There is a lot of energy and the direction is very good,” he added.
Bennett’s predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu boasted of A close relationship with Putin, who he claimed was the space for Israel will fight for a year air campaign against Iran-backed fighters in Syria. Which campaign however, has continued under Bennett recent reports point to tensions in the relationship between Israel and Russia over policy towards Syria.
Russia is also a member of the P5+1 group of countries that negotiated over the nuclear deal met Iran, with talk on The United States die may rejoin the dying pact set to ever resume soon, according to officials.
Israel has lobbied against the resumption of the deal and pushed for a coordinated international attempt to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. On Thursday, minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman, whose political base is largely made up of Russian speakers from the former Soviet Union, said a military to collide with Iran was “just a matter” of time.”
The Kremlin has acknowledged that Bennett is unlikely to have the same understanding with Putin that Netanyahu did.
“We are not trying to compare Mr Netanyahu met the… current Prime Minister Because Netanyahu Worked with President Putin for a lot of of years and they knew each other very well and it takes time to develop new personal relationships,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told i24News.
While Bennett hopes to get Putin there use his influence to curb Iran, challenge was highlighted by Moscow host of Iran’s military chief of staff just days before Bennett’s visit.
After meetings with his Russian counterpart, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri praised the closure military ties between Tehran and Moscow.
“The military and defense relationships have grown remarkably in in recent years, and we hope that the growing rate of cooperation would continue,” said Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted him as saying.
Bennett’s visit follows a trip of his foreigner minister Yair Lapid to Moscow last month, where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
the Walla news site later reported that Lavrov during die meeting asked: for Israel urges the United States to in to vote met trilateral talks on the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Israel’s freedom of action in Syria was then severely curtailed Russia supplied advanced S-300 air defense batteries to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops after an incident in 2018 in in which the Syrian army, targeting Israeli fighter jets, shot down a Russian plane out of the sky instead, killing all 15 people on board.
Israel has worn out hundreds of air raids in Syria in the course of the country’s civil war, centered on what it is says his suspected arms deliveries die are supposed to be? for Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group, die together met Syrians fight government forces. Israel recognizes of rarely discusses such operations.
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