Netanyahu to meet with Russian officials on Syria, 'regional issues'

The two officials arrived in Israel earlier on Monday.

January 28, 2019 18:16
1 minute read.
Russia's special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev

Russia's special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Vershinin Tuesday, the Russian embassy announced in a Twitter post.

The two officials arrived in Israel earlier on Monday and have already met with Director General of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry, Yuval Rotem, and are scheduled to meet with Israeli security officials as well.
Rotem revealed on Twitter that his meeting with the Russian envoy focused on otherwise unspecified "regional issues." He called the discussion "meaningful and insightful."

"The arrival of the Russian officials is not a positive sign," Yisrael Beytenu Party leader and former defense minister Avigdor Liberman said in an interview to the Army radio. "When the Russian Foreign Ministry releases a statement of their arrival, it must have been approved by the Kremlin."

“The practice of arbitrary strikes on the territory of a sovereign state – in this case, we are talking about Syria – should be ruled out,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week.

Putin's special envoy for Syria Lavrentiev had downplayed Russian involvement in Syria in the past by saying that "[Russia] is taking the neighboring countries' interests into consideration, including Israel's."

Maariv contributed to this report.

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