Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in Sochi, Russia August 23, 2017..
(photo credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone for 30 minutes on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, hours after Putin met Monday in Sochi with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
According to the Prime Minister's Office, the discussion focused on Syria and Iran's efforts to permanently establish itself there after the civil war, with Netanyahu repeating Israel's objections to a permanent Iranian presence in the country. The two last spoke on the phone about the matter in mid-October.
Russia is in the middle of brokering a peace arrangement for Syria, with Putin following up his meeting with Assad by speaking with other key actors, including US President Donald Trump, and the leaders of Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to meet in Moscow with Putin on Wednesday to discuss the future of Syria.