Israel reportedly mulling deal that would see Russian troops on Golan

'Asharq Al-Awsat' cites meeting between Livni, Lavrov as discussing alternatives to transfer of S-300 missiles to Syria.

July 10, 2013 12:13
UN peacekeeping soldiers drive past an observation tower near the Quneitra border crossing

UN peacekeeping tank on golan heights 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Israel may allow Russian soldiers to join the United Nations peacekeeping forces on the Golan Heights, and in return Moscow will halt the transfer of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, the London-based Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported Wednesday.

According to the report, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss alternatives to the weapons deal, which would provide Syrian President Bashar Assad with the S-300 missiles within weeks, not in the middle of next year, as Moscow had previously told Jerusalem.

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The newspaper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin last month offered to send 380 Russian soldiers to replace the Austrian forces who withdrew from the Golan buffer zone, following fighting in the area between the Syrian regime and the rebel forces seeking to oust Assad.

But, the paper added, the UN had rejected Putin's offer, saying the disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria following the 1973 Yom Kippur War bars troops from the Security Council permanent member states from joining peacekeeping forces.

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