Netanyahu to visit Kremlin to talk security, Putin tells Rivlin

President Reuven Rivlin and Vladimir Putin hold a short press conference before they meet in the Kremlin, with Putin saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also visit Moscow soon to discuss defense issues.

“The ties between our countries are based on friendship and mutual understanding,” Putin says, according to Haaretz. “Israel has 1.5 million Russian citizens who speak Russian and have Russian culture. The number of Russian tourists visiting Israel is rising every month.”

Rivlin tells Putin the Jewish people remember how Russia saved them in World War II.

“Today, we also both face terror and fundamentalism,” Rivlin says, according to Haaretz.

The two leaders are slated to hold a short private meeting before a working dinner, both closed to the press.

Rivlin, the first foreign leader to meet with Putin since Monday’s surprise announcement that Russia is pulling out of Syria, is expected to warn Putin about the dangers of letting Iran and Hezbollah fill the vacuum left by Moscow.

“We want Iran and Hezbollah not to emerge strengthened from this entire process,” Rivlin told reporters during the flight to Russia. “Everybody agrees that the Islamic State organization is a danger to the entire world, but Shiite Iranian fundamentalist Islam is for us just as dangerous.”

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