Russian official: We never questioned the right of Jews to the Temple Mount

Chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Foreign Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, said Russia has never questioned the Jews’ right to the Temple Mount, even though it voted in favor of the recent UNESCO resolution denying Jewish ties to the holy site.

A senior official stated that Russia, though it voted in favor of a recent UNESCO resolution denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, never questioned the right of Jews, and others, to the Temple Mount

A delegation of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, headed by Committee Chairman MK Avi Dichter, held a series of meetings on Monday in Russia at the Russian Federation Council – the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia.

The meetings focused on the state of affairs of the diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia, 25 years after they were resumed, as well as the developments in the Middle East with an emphasis on Moscow’s involvement in Syria, the global war on terror, and the “need to fight the distortion of historical facts,” as was evident in the last UNESCO resolution.

“Both sides stressed the importance of the relations between the countries, as well as the need to continue the diplomatic and security dialogue and continue developing the economic, cultural and technological ties,” a statement by the Knesset read.

The talks also focused on Israel’s and Russia’s mutual interest in seeking regional stability and combating terror, and ideas on cooperation were exchanged.

The Israeli delegation stressed that Israel was not intervening in the war in Syria or in the political order in the country, but provides humanitarian aid to Syrians living near the border with Israel.

However, the lawmakers stressed that Israel would continue to defend itself and work to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons from Iran to Hezbollah and prevent terror attacks from Syria.

They further warned that an Iranian-led axis in the region, which includes Hezbollah and Syria, threatens the entire Middle East, as well as the Russian interests in the region.

Addressing the criticism of Russia’s vote in favor of UNESCO’s resolution which ignores the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Foreign Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, said Russia has never questioned the Jews’ right to the Temple Mount, nor has it questioned the right of others to the holy site.

On Tuesday the MKs are scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, with members of the State Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Defense Committee, and with the deputy head of the National Security Council.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News