Netanyahu, Putin discuss ‘developments in region’ by phone

Israel and Russia have developed relatively close ties over recent years, mainly with regard to the Syrian civil war.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone Saturday night to discuss “developments in the region, with emphasis on Syria and continued security coordination in this sphere, which has already proven itself in preventing misunderstandings,” according to  statement by the Israeli prime minister’s office.

The Kremlin’s press service stated that the two leaders also discussed the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and “relevant issues of bilateral cooperation.”

The conversation – held at the initiative of the Israeli side, according to the Kremlin – took place shortly after Putin spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, also by phone.

Discussing the ceasefire in Syria, Netanyahu and Putin both “stressed the importance of the achieved agreements on [the] ceasefire in Syria and launch of the negotiation process in Astana. They agreed to continue close coordination of efforts aimed at final resolution of the Syrian crisis,” the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

Despite Russia’s ties with Iran and Syria as well as its tensions with the West over the war in Ukraine, Israel maintains a warm relationship with Moscow.

Jerusalem and Moscow have established a line of communication to prevent possible clashes between Israeli and Russian air forces in Syria. Netanyahu and Putin met on four separate occasions over the past year.

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The two leaders have often spoken by phone and continue to do so on a frequent basis.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News