ussian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, April 21, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Golan Heights should not be discussed in any conversation about the future of Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two meet in Moscow on Thursday.
The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that Netanyahu again intends to raise this issue with Putin.
Netanyahu flew to Moscow in April and again in June last year, and during the April meeting said at a press conference alongside Putin, that the strategic plateau will always remain part of Israel.
Netanyahu said Wednesday that this meeting is “very important for the security of Israel. The victory over Islamic State terror cannot lead to an increase in territory by Iran and its proxies. You don’t replace terror with terror,” he said.
One of the central purposes of the one-day visit is to discuss what Jerusalem sees as Iranian efforts to create a permanent presence in Syria once a new order there is created.
According to the PMO statement, Netanyahu will express Israel’s “strong opposition” to Iranian troops or those of its “proxies” remaining on Israel’s northern border or in the Mediterranean Sea, following any future arrangement in Syria.
The discussions are also aimed at continuing the constant contact between Russia and Israel to prevent any friction between the countries’ forces in Syria, according to the statement.
Earlier this week the Kremlin issued a statement saying the talks will also focus on “key aspects of the Palestinian- Israeli settlement.”
Netanyahu flew to Moscow in September of 2015, when Moscow began its active military engagement in Syria, to set up a deconfliction mechanism.
This week’s trip to Moscow follows others Netanyahu has taken since the beginning of February to London, Washington, Singapore and Sydney.
His office formally announced that in another nine days he will travel for four days to China. This means that in the last two months, Netanyahu will have met with the leaders of four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the US, Britain, Russia and China. There are no immediate plans for a visit to the fifth member-state France.
Netanyahu will be accompanied to Moscow by Environmental Protection and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who serves as his translator on trips to Russia; acting head of the National Security Council Yaakov Nagel; chief of staff Yoav Horowitz; Military Intelligence head Maj.- Gen. Herzl Halevi; and his military attaché Brig.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano.