Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Russian Preisdent Vladimir Putin .
(photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris next week has been canceled, KAN news reported on Tuesday night.
In the absence of the meeting it is possible that Netanyahu will cancel his trip to attend the Paris Peace Forum, hosted by France to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Reportedly France has frowned on sidebar meetings, but not new date has been set for the face-to-face talk, which had been designed to show that relations were still strong between Moscow and Jerusalem.
Last week the Kremlin said that Putin's only bilateral meeting was with US President Donald Trump, but that Netanyahu and the Russian leader may have a brief conversation. An official in Netanyahu's office said that no meeting had been scheduled.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signaling that tensions remain between the two countries, when he said earlier this week that Israel is inflaming the region
with its military actions particularly in Syria.
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman have insisted that relations with Moscow are on track.
But Lavrov indicated otherwise in an interview he gave to the Spanish newspaper El Pais. Russia’s Embassy in Israel retweeted his words, stating: “Military operations can’t resolve Israeli security concerns but will only help increase regional tensions.”
The paper asked Lavrov about the deconfliction agreement between the two countries that regulates the movement of both militaries in Syria, to ensure that they do not accidentally endanger the other.
But Russia has changed that Israel on September 17th failed to notify Moscow of its aerial movements in Syria, It has alleging that Israeli jets hid behind a Russian reconnaissance plane, which was then shot down by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile, causing the death of 17 crew members.
Israel has insisted that it notified Moscow of its movements and has blamed Syria for the downed plane.
Lavrov told El Pais that Israel had not always lived up to its obligations under the deconfliction agreement, even prior to the September 17th incident. He referred also to an Israeli bombing raid in Palmyra in March.
“We warned them that this attitude could lead to tragic consequences; these signals were conveyed through all channels and at the top level. Simultaneously we stressed that the use of force was unable to resolve Israeli security concerns and could only foment regional tensions,” Lavrov said.
Russia responded to the downing of the plane by supplying Syria with an advanced anti-missile aircraft system known as the S-300.
“After the September 17 incident, we could not leave everything as is. Russia’s response was reserved but resolute,” Lavrov said.
Israel has said that the anti-aircraft missile system has not deterred it from conducting miltary strikes in Syria and that there are no restrictions its ability to conduct aerial strikes in Syria against Iranian backed targets.
An article on the Lebanese Al-Manar TV web site, however, stated that Israel has not conducted aerial strikes in Syria since the S-300 system was put in place.
Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.
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