Israel and Russia to work on removing foreign forces from Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded a one-day visit to Moscow last night. During his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu underscored the importance of Israel’s continued “vigorous actions” against Iran’s attempts to entrench itself in Syria, with a declared goal of annihilating the Jewish State. The Prime Minister, who referred to the meeting as “excellent”, reiterated his sentiment, that “the direct link between (the two leaders) is a vital component in preventing risks and friction” between the Russian military and IDF in Israel’s northern war-torn neighbor, “and contributes to security and stability in the region.” In Netanyahu’s words, “Mr. President, I have counted eleven meetings between us since September 2015. The direct link between us is a vital component in preventing risks and friction between our militaries and contributes to security and stability in the region. The greatest threat to stability and security in the region comes from Iran and its proxies. We are determined to continue our vigorous action against the attempts by Iran, which calls for our destruction, including its attempts to entrench militarily in Syria.”

Following their summit, Netanyahu and Putin agreed to form a joint committee to discuss the removal of foreign troops from Syria. Furthermore, the Israeli leader revealed that both Jerusalem and Moscow have a common goal: “to return the situation in Syria to what it was before the eight-years-long civil war.”

Prior to returning to Israel, Netanyahu held a short meeting with leaders of the Jewish community in Russia, during which he thanked them and said that “It is obvious that this is the golden-age of Russian-Israeli relations, and the relations between Russia and the people of Israel. The Russian-speaking public, over 1 million people, has changed the country and, together with the Jewish community here in Russia and Moscow, constitutes a living bridge between these two peoples.”

Netanyahu also took the opportunity to refer to the spike of global anti-Semitism, re-emphasizing Jerusalem’s commitment to protect the Jewish communities – wherever they may be – while stressing that the only true answer to this old-decease is the state of Israel. The Israeli Prime Minster stated “we are not concerned just for ourselves. We are concerned for Jews everywhere. We know, of course, that we need to struggle together against displays of antisemitism.”/ “We see what is happening in parts of Europe and in North America as well. There is one answer to antisemitism – first of all, a strong State of Israel.”