Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin today (Thursday).
The meeting is scheduled to take place in the afternoon and the two will primarily be discussing the Syrian front, and Iran’s future position in the region, after the Syrian civil war comes to an end.
“This is a very important meeting for the security of Israel” said Netanyahu today, prior to departing. “The victory over the terror of ISIS cannot bring instead the terror of Iran, you don’t exchange terror with terror”.
With the Syrian civil war inching towards the end, there is great concern that Iran will leave some of its forces or proxy’s behind, and become a key player in the region.
It’s assumed that Netanyahu will express his concern over Iran transferring arms to Hezbollah, and will pressure Putin to prevent Iran from gaining strength in the region.
According to senior officials, Israel’s concern comes in light of the warming of ties between the U.S. and Russia since Trumps election to the Presidency. The U.S. will even be holding talks with the Russians next month in Kazakhstan, and Israel is concerned that her local interests will be ignored.
Netanyahu took off at 8:15 in the morning, and will spend a mere few hours in Russia. He is joined by a few top officials including Minister Z’ev Elkin, that is very popular in the Kremlin.
The Prime Minister’s office put out a statement explaining the PM visit: “To continue the ties with Russia in order to avoid confrontations in Syria, and to express strong opposition to Iranian forces staying behind in the northern border, and the Mediterranean Sea, under any future agreement”.
By Eli Yackobi
Translated by Eli B.