Putin, Netanyahu give statements ahead of meeting in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem ahead of a ceremony at Yad Vashem to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

“I want to welcome out great friend the president of Russia. Sara and I are happy to invite you to our home in Jerusalem, and to thank you for the strong ties between Israel and Russia that serve our people, our countries and regional peace. Welcome to Jerusalem.”

Putin responds with a short statement.

“Today we remember the victims of the Holocaust,” Putin says. “I thank Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife for their invitation to visit.”

The two are expected to discuss the fate of jailed Israeli-American Naama Issachar as speculation swirls over a possible announcement. Issachar’s mother Yaffa will meet with the two leaders.

Naama Issachar was sentenced by Russia to 7.5 years in prison after less than 10 grams of marijuana was found in her luggage during a layover in a Moscow airport in April. She has denied smuggling drugs, noting she had not sought to enter Russia during the layover on her way to Israel from India, and had no access to her luggage during her brief stay in the Russian airport.

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