Netanyahu phones Putin to talk Middle East peace
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Netanyahu phones Putin to talk Middle East peace

Israeli and Russian leaders agree to continue 'intensive' contacts, Kremlin says

Illustrative: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking on the phone at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, April 28, 2014. (Amos Ben Gershon/GPO)
Illustrative: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking on the phone at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, April 28, 2014. (Amos Ben Gershon/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday night and discussed regional issues and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

According to the Kremlin presidential website, “the two leaders exchanged opinions on issues surrounding the settlement in the Middle East and current aspects of the general situation in the region.”

“It was agreed to continue intensive Russian-Israeli contacts at various levels,” the Kremlin said.

No further details concerning the conversation were released, and the Prime Minister’s Office made no immediate statement about it.

Netanyahu and Putin had a similar phone conversation on July 23 during which they arranged to maintain the dialogue and contact at various government levels.

The phone call came after earlier this week Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said that Putin was willing to host Israeli and Palestinian leaders for direct talks.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of a meeting at the Kremlin on June 7, 2016 (screen capture: Facebook)
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of a meeting at the Kremlin on June 7, 2016 (screen capture: Facebook)

In a briefing with newspaper editors in Cairo Sissi said Israel is increasingly convinced of the need for achieving peace with the Palestinians, according to Sunday media reports in Israel and Egypt.

In June, Netanyahu made a high profile visit to Russia to discuss regional threats and mutual interests with Putin. The two reviewed the ongoing security coordination between the Russian and the Israeli armies, especially their so-called deconflicting mechanism, set up to assure the Israel Defense Forces does not strike Russian jets operating in Syrian airspace.

Their meeting in the Kremlin was the fourth contact between the two leaders in less than a year. Netanyahu visited the Russian capital in September 2015 and in April 2016. In addition, the two briefly got together last November on the sidelines of the Paris climate conference. In comparison, in the same time frame, Netanyahu has only met twice with US President Barack Obama.

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