Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrived Tuesday afternoon for talks in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and said at the outset of meetings he is glad to be able to discuss with Putin ways to stabilize the region.
"The region around us is tumultuous, rough, unstable and volatile, therefore I am pleased with the opportunity to consider together way to stabilize the region and bring about security and stability," Netanyahu said.
He made no reference in his opening remarks to the Russian intention – opposed by Israel and the US – to sell state-of-the-art S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.
Putin, according to a statement put out by Netanyahu's office, thanked Netanyahu for accepting his invitation to visit Russia, and mentioned the warm welcome he received in Israel when he visited there in June 2012. This is the two leaders' first meeting since then, though they have spoken on the phone on numerous occasions, most recently last Monday when Netanyahu was in China.
On Monday, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Russia to join international efforts to end the Syrian civil war. The US and Russia announced last week their intention of holding an international conference aimed at ending the Syrian civil war.
Cameron, who met Putin Friday in Sochi, said at a press conference with Obama, “I think the Russian president, the American president and myself, we can all see that the current trajectory of how things are going is not in anybody’s interest.”