Netanyahu set to meet with Putin next week

By ARIK BENDER, MAARIV HASHAVUA
April 15, 2016 14:08
1 minute read.

 
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to discuss pertinent issues in key ares of bilateral relations, as well as pressing issues regarding the region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The Prime Minister's Office said on Friday that the meeting will discuss current issues in key areas of bilateral relations. Additionally, the two will discuss pressing issues on the regional and global agendas, like the Palestinians and the conflict in Syria, among others.

This is the second between the two leaders in recent months, as part of security cooperation surrounding the civil war in Syria, particularly in regards to flight arrangements of the air forces of the two countries. However, this is the first meeting between the two since the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, a move that surprised Israel.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of reports that Iran began to accept shipments of the S-300 missile system from Russia, following the agreement signed between the two countries after signing the nuclear deal in July.

Last week, Putin met with President Reuven Rivlin at the Kremlin, shortly after the announcement in Moscow of the withdrawal of Syrian forces. Israeli political sources said at the time that Israel had not fully understood what was behind Putin's latest move to remove his forces from Syria. They said one of the goals of the meeting is to understand what Putin plans on doing and how he wants to move forward in Syria.

In his talks with Putin, Rivlin voiced his concern over ISIS and the fear of modern Russian weapons being leaked to Hezbollah.

The duo also discussed the ongoing process towards a free trade agreement between Israel and the Euro-Asian Union, thereby making Israel the first Western country to sign the agreement. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in bilateral foreign trade between the two countries, and Russia is considered to be among the ten largest trade partners of Israel.

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