(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss the nations’ security coordination at the Israel-Syria border and the necessity to maintain the Golan Heights as a sovereign Israeli territory.
“Mr. President, thank you very much. I very much appreciate both your heartfelt hospitality and the ongoing connection between us. I came here with one main goal—to strengthen the security coordination between us so as to avoid mishaps, misunderstandings, and unnecessary confrontations,” Netanyahu told Putin, referencing the ongoing Russian-Israeli mechanism to avert clashes between their military forces in the region.
Netanyahu reiterated that Israel wants “to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” and secondly, “to prevent the establishment of an additional terror front against us on the Golan Heights,” which “will remain under Israeli sovereignty.” The Israeli cabinet recently held its first-ever meeting in the Golan Heights, a move intended as an affirmation of Israeli sovereignty there in response to reports that the territory is being discussed as part of Syrian civil war peace talks.
The visit to Moscow is the third face-to-face meeting between the two leaders in seven months.
This year, Israel and Russia are marking 25 years of full diplomatic relations.