Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. FILE PHOTO

Israeli Premier Flies To Russia For First Meeting With Putin

10/22/2021

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett flew to Russia on Friday for his first meeting as premier with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid tensions with Iran.

Bennett stressed the importance of the relationship between Israel and Russia, highlighting the "million" Russian speakers who live in the country.

Bennett’s predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu regularly had meetings with Putin to regulate their interactions regarding Syria.

Bennett also confirmed Israel's international status was "significantly strengthening" and was progressing well.

Bennett will meet Putin to discuss political, security and economic issues, including the Iran nuclear program.

The two countries operate a military hotline to coordinate air force operations over Syria to avoid clashes.

Israel often attacks Iranian-linked targets in Syria, while Russia has provided protection for the Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria.

Russia is one of the international parties that negotiated a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

The deal fell apart after then-President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

But the new US administration is now trying to revive the deal that would lift sanctions and offer a lifeline to the Islamic Republic — a step that Israel, Saudi Arabia and others in the region oppose.

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