Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Expert: PM aims to block Hezbollah enclave in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will convene on Thursday to discuss the “current situation in the Middle East, particularly in light of joint efforts to combat international terrorism,” the Kremlin said on Monday. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process will also be on the agenda, according to the Kremlin.

At the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said Syria and the international diplomatic efforts to hammer out a deal to bring the six-year-old conflict there to an end would be the focus of the meeting.

“In the context of this agreement, or without it, Iran is trying to establish itself permanently in Syria, with a military presence on the ground and at sea, and also a gradual attempt to open a front against us on the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said. “I will express to President Putin Israel’s sharp and vigorous opposition to this possibility and about the possibility Israel will choose to attack. I hope we will be able to come to the understandings necessary to prevent as much as possible confrontations between Russian and Israeli forces - just as we have been able to do until now."

Thursday will mark Netanyahu’s fifth meeting with Putin over the past year and a half since the start of Russia’s military intervention in Syria. The two have also spoken by phone on numerous other occasions. READ MORE