Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (L) in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. (AP) (AP)
netanyahu putin

In Moscow, Netanyahu discussed security coordination with Putin and reiterated that Israel will never relinquish the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to Israel from what he described as a “very successful” meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, where they discussed the strengthening of security coordination.

“I am coming now from a very important and successful meeting with President Putin,” Netanyahu stated in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. “I defined the goal as strengthening security coordination between Russia and Israel so as to avoid mishaps.”

Netanyahu was apparently referring to reports that Russian fighter jets had fired at Israeli Air Force planes at least twice in the past several days.

It was agreed during the meeting Thursday that the military leaders of both countries “will meet and discuss – in a detailed and efficient manner – the coordination between our militaries and several other issues that have recently arisen. I think that this is vital because we must maintain freedom of action for the IDF and the air force in places that are important to us vis-à-vis our security, and I think that this was achieved.”

Netanyahu also reiterated during the meeting that Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights. He made a similar declaration at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday amid reports that Israeli control over the Golan was being negotiated as part of the Syrian Civil War peace talks.

“Israel has clear red lines for self-defense,” Netanyahu told Putin, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. “We act to the best of our ability to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” he said.

“I came here with one central goal: to strengthen the security coordination between us in order to prevent accidents, misunderstandings, and unnecessary conflict,” Netanyahu told Putin.

Netanyahu and Putin also reached an agreement about pensions paid by Russia to citizens that have immigrated to Israel—a deal Netanyahu described as “a nice Passover present.”

After Putin offered a blessing for the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins on Friday night, Netanyahu replied that “during the holiday, the people of Israel will sit at the Seder table, including over a million Russian-speaking Israelis, who form the living bond between our peoples.”

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Tazpit Press Agency)

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