World

Netanyahu to meet Putin to discuss Iran, Syria

Agency | February 06, 2019 10:40 AM

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow later in February for more talks on Syria and Iran's presence in the country.

The meeting will take place on February 21, Netanyahu said in joint statements with visiting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

According to Netanyahu, the meeting will be held as a continuation of his talks with Putin in Paris three months ago and a series of phone calls between the two leaders, reports Xinhua news agency.

The new talks will focus on how to prevent Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria, where its forces are fighting alongside the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The meeting comes in the wake of tensions between Israel and Russia, which grew in recent weeks following Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

Israel and Russia have been coordinating their moves in Syria over the past years. But such coordination met difficulties after Syria mistakenly shot down a Russian reconnaissance plane following an Israeli airstrike on September 17 last year.

All 15 soldiers aboard the plane were killed and Russia's Defense Ministry said Israel should be held accountable.

Israel has become increasingly concerned over the declared withdrawal of the US forces from Syria, fearing that it will expose the Jewish state to threats from Iran, which Israel considers its biggest enemy.

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