FM to meet Russian counterpart

Shalom expected to ask Lavrov to stop Russian plans to sell arms to Syria.

silvan shalom 248 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
silvan shalom 248 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is likely to ask his Russian counterpart to stop his country's plans to sell arms to Syria when the two men meet in Jerusalem on Wednesday, a government source told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday night. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is making a two-day visit to the region to meet with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. In Russia, Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin, told reporters that Lavrov's visit, the first since Israel pulled out of Gaza, comes at a critical time in the relationship between Israelis and the Palestinians. "It's important to prevent new instances of mistrust and violence so that the necessary conditions exist to move forward on the road map," he said. Lavrov will speak against terrorism, religious extremism and the need for coordinated actions between the three governments, Kamynin said. Shalom will also talk with Lavrov about Iran's nuclear threat and in addition will ask him to help restrain Syrian leader Basher Assad. Shalom will also meet with the New Zealand ambassador on Wednesday. It will be the first such meeting since New Zealand accused two Israelis in its country of being spies more than a year ago, according to the Foreign Ministry. On Thursday, Shalom heads to France, where he will meet with the French foreign minister and the Internal Security minister. He will also address the Jewish community in Toulouse on Saturday night. Upon his return he will also meet with the Italian and Swedish foreign ministers. In all cases he will speak with the leaders against the participation of Hamas in the upcoming January Palestinian Legislative Council elections. In the middle of the month he heads to Tunisia to attend a UN conference, it is the first time an Israeli Foreign Minister will visit Tunisia. A government source said that Shalom is likely to meet with the Tunisian foreign minister and to possibly hold even higher level talks with government officials.