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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Netanyahu and Putin discuss Middle East peace

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed the peace process in the Middle East and a range of regional problems in a phone call on Tuesday, the Kremlin said, according to the RussianSputnik news agency.

"The leaders exchanged opinions on Middle East peace process and urgent developments of the general situation in the region. They agreed to maintain Russian-Israeli contacts at various levels," the statement said.

The announcement of the phone call comes two days after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said that Putin had told him that he is ready to host direct talks between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu recently visited Russia for the fourth time in nine months. The trip was officially meant to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia, but was also used by both sides to shore up a rapidly strengthening alliance.

In late 2015 the two countries agreed on a joint mechanism to coordinate military operations in Syria, and in particular concerning the use of Syrian airspace.

The mechanism was agreed upon during a meeting between Netanyahu and Putin on the sidelines of the international climate conference.