Netanyahu Tells Putin: I Came to Moscow to Prevent Misunderstandings Between IDF and Russian Forces in Syria

One of the disagreements that emerged in the meeting between the Russian and Israeli leaders concerned the threat from Syria; Netanyahu said Syria was clearly trying to target Israel, while Putin said Assad's army in no position to open new front.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow, September 21, 2015.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow, September 21, 2015.Credit: AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Moscow, where he said that it had been important to him to call a meeting in order to clarify Israel's stance on Russian security involvement in Syria and to ensure that there would be no misunderstandings between the Israel Defense Forces and Russian forces on the Syrian front.

Putin told the Israeli leader in response that the Syrian army was in no condition to open a new front.

Netanyahu told Putin that he "very much appreciated the opportunity to speak with you. Israel and Russia share the common interest of ensuring stability in the Middle East. And I am here because of the security situation, which has become more complicated on the norther border.

"As you know, in recent years and even more so in recent month, Iran and Syria have been arming the radical terrorist organization Hezbollah with advanced weapons, which are aimed at us. Over the years, thousands of rockets and missiles have been fired on our cities," Netanyahu said.

"Meanwhile, Iran, as the benefactor of the Syrian army, is trying to build a second terror front against us from the Golan. Our policy is to thwart the flow of these weapons, and to prevent the establishment of a new terror front and attacks against us from the Golan."

"I must say one more thing, on both a personal and national level – in all of our contacts, when we agreed and when we didn't, the conversation between us has always been based on mutual respect and transparency. I am certain that this will be the case now too."

Putin responded by saying, "this is how it will be, honorable prime minister. Have no doubts on that matter."

"We never forget that in the State of Israel reside many former Soviet citizens, and that has a special implication on the relationship between our two states. Every Russian action in the area has always been very responsible. We are aware of the artillery against Israel and we condemn it. I know that these attacks are being carried out by unofficial systems."

Regarding Netanyahu's concern of new attacks from Syria, Putin said: "We know that the Syrian army is in no state to open a new front. Our main goal is to protect the Syrian state. Nonetheless, I understand your concern and I am very glad you came here to discuss the issue in detail."

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