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Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in Sochi, Russia August 23, 2017.. (photo credit:SPUTNIK/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)
On October 7, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin have agreed during a recent phone call to meet soon to discuss cooperation over Syria.
“We agreed to meet soon to continue the important security coordination between our armed forces,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem accoording to Reuters.
Furthermore, Netanyahu stressed that Israel will continue its military operations against Iranian forces and Lebanese Hezbollah in Syria despite of the tension with Russia.
“Israel will constantly act to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria and transferring deadly weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Netanyahu said.
The Russian-Israeli relations witnessed a major setback in mid-September, when a Russian Il-20 intelligence plane was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defense fire during an Israeli airstrike on the Syrian city of Lattakia. Back then, Russia held Israel responsible for the incident and said that its airstrike was unprofessional.
Following the incident, Russia decided to supply Syria with advanced S-300 long-range air defense systems in order to insure the safety of its service members deployed in the country. This led to further tension in the relations between Russia and Israel, which vowed to continue its operation in Syria.
The Israeli leadership hopes that the upcoming meeting between Netanyahu and Putin will likely ease the tension between the states. Thus, Tel Aviv will be able to avoide further consequences of its recently demonstrated “hostile” approach towards Russia.
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