At Paris Summit, Netanyahu and Putin Praise Coordination Efforts in Syria

Netanyahu says 'coordination, de-confliction mechanism' with Russia successful, prevents 'unnecessary accidents,' day after Israel confirms Russian entered airspace at least once.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on sidelines of COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France. November 30, 2015.
AP

PARIS - Meeting on the sidelines of the international climate summit in Paris, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two praised the cooperation mechanisms between the two countries over Syria.

"The events of recent days prove the importance of our coordination, our de-confliction mechanisms, our attempts to cooperate with each other to prevent unnecessary accidents and tragedies and I believe that we’ve been successful," Netanyahu said ahead of their meeting, with Putin echoing the claim.

The meeting came as tensions between Turkey and Russia intensified after the downing of a Russian plane in Syria that Ankara had claimed had entered its airspace.

Netanyahu also spoke about the "big battle against militant Islam [and] the terrorism it spews forward." Netanyahu expressed "hope that Israel and Russia can see eye to eye on all the strategic matters" and reassured Russia that "it’s within our powers to have very good coordination on the ground and in the air" to prevent accident.

"I’m very satisfied by the fact that our militaries have been very careful to coordinate with one another and will continue to do so. I think this is an indication of the openness and the success of the relationship between Israel and Russia."

The meeting came after Israel's Defense Minister Ya'alon confirmed Russian planes had also entered Israeli airspace. Speaking on Israel Radio on Sunday, Ya’alon said that despite Israeli and Russian efforts to coordinate military operations in Syria, on one occasion a Russian plane penetrated Israel's airspace by one mile. Ya'alon said that Israel immediately made contact and the plane immediately returned to Syrian airspace.

After Russia began its campaign in Syria, Netanyahu flew to Russia to meet with Putin, and the two agreed to establish a coordination mechanism to prevent misunderstandings and unintended confrontations between the Israeli military and Russian forces deployed in Syria.