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Netanyahu Heads to Moscow to Consolidate Coordination on Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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RRussian President Vladimir Putin meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, May 14, 2013. Reuters

Tel Aviv-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Monday night, in an official visit aimed at marking 25 years since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia and to discuss the consolidation of coordination between their militaries in Syria.

A political source in Tel Aviv said on Sunday that Netanyahu, who will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, will propose that Moscow exerts stronger efforts to push the Israeli-Arab peace talks forward.

The source said that Lavrov’s absence from the Paris summit that was held last Friday has compelled Netanyahu to believe that Russia has the same perspective as Israel on how to reach a settlement to the Middle East crisis.

Netanyahu wants to check with Russian officials if Lavrov’s absence from the summit meant that Moscow had taken the same stance as Israel in rejecting international conferences and considering that a settlement is reached trough direct talks between the two sides.

According to the same source, Netanyahu will seek to convince Putin to stress Russia’s rejection to the consolidation of Iran’s military capabilities.

Diplomatic ties between the two countries started when the state of Israel was established in 1948. They were brought to a halt after the 1967 war and resumed when the Soviet Union collapsed.

During his two-day visit, Netanyahu will discuss with the Russian officials bilateral relations and security coordination on Syria.

A statement issued by the Kremlin said that Putin and Netanyahu will meet at the Kremlin on Tuesday night and will discuss the implementation of the agreements that they had reached during Netanyahu’s last visit to Moscow.

According to Israeli media reports, Netanyahu and Putin agreed during previous meetings for the two countries’ militaries to coordinate on security issues in Syria and for Israeli warplanes to have the freedom to strike so-called Hezbollah targets.

Israel has carried out such strikes after Russia’s military intervention in Syria.