Netanyahu to visit Putin in Moscow, will discuss Syria and Iran

Netanyahu and Putin to sit down in Moscow next week to discuss Syria and Iran.

By: Margot Dudkevitch

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 29 in Moscow, simultaneous statements released by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Kremlin said Thursday. The two last met in Sochi in August last year but maintain constant phone contact. Jerusalem Affairs and Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin will accompany the prime minister to the Russian capital.

The whirlwind visit is expected to last some five hours. Agenda topics are set to include the Iranian nuclear deal and Israel’s opposition to allowing Iranian military forces to maintain a presence in Syria. Jerusalem is determined not to allow Iranian forces to remain in Syria once the civil war ends there.

The two leaders, who are currently attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, met in Moscow last March. At the time, Netanyahu attempted to tie the then-upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim to tensions concerning Iran. However, Putin quickly reminded the Israeli premier of the necessity to focus on the present and not the past.

Netanyahu has continuously sought international support for his stand on the Iranian nuclear deal struck with the West, which he believes should be nixed. Yet Putin has constantly sought to maintain close ties with Tehran, including selling the Islamic Republic the latest advanced S300 anti-aircraft system – despite Israel’s objections.