Israel’s Netanyahu to meet Russia’s Putin days before election
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, five days before Israel’s April 9 election.
The meeting was announced following a telephone conversation between the two leaders on Monday.
Netanyahu and Putin spoke on the phone on Monday and discussed "regional issues," including an Israeli airstrike in Syria as well as strengthening security coordination between the two states.
The two heads of state met in Moscow during a brief visit in February, the twelfth such meeting between the leaders since September 2015.
"Ties between us have prevented friction between our armies and contributed to security in the region," Netanyahu told Putin during the visit.
Putin reportedly said that he would take part in the opening ceremony for a new monument in Jerusalem, commemorating victims and survivors of the World War II Siege of Leningrad.
However, no date has yet been set for Putin’s visit.
During the two leaders’ meeting in February, Netanyahu said he wanted Iranians and all foreign fighters to withdraw from Syria, a goal purportedly shared by Russia.
A diplomatic source told reporters that Putin did not place limitations with regard to Israel's actions in Syria.
"The policy is that we will continue to act and it's accepted with understanding," the source said, confirming that the two states are willing to forget the crisis that followed the accidental downing of Russian spy plane by Syrian forces in September 2018.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu is currently hosting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Jerusalem.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro left early on Saturday for an official visit to Israel, where he was expected to decide whether to move the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Brazilian senior officials subsequently backed away from the plan, for fear of hurting trade ties with Arab countries, including an estimated $5 billion in sales of halal food to Muslim consumers.
“Brazil decided to create an office in Jerusalem to promote trade, investment, technology and innovation as a part of its embassy in Israel,” the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia said in a statement.
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