Peres heads to Russia to inaugurate Jewish museum

President to meet Putin, discuss Iran nuclear threat and regional peace

Shimon Peres at his Jerusalem residence (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Shimon Peres at his Jerusalem residence (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

President Shimon Peres will head to Russia on Tuesday to represent Israel at the opening of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

After the ceremonies on Thursday, Peres will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and with members of the Jewish community in the capital.

According to Army Radio, the main topic on the agenda of his meeting with Putin will be the Iranian threat.

Peres said that he will try to give Putin “a reliable and real description, and explain to him that a nuclear Iran is dangerous not only to us as Jews, but to the entire Middle East.”

The president said he knows Putin opposes a nuclear Iran, but that he has a different approach than the US on to how to prevent the situation from deteriorating.

The issue of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations will also be discussed by the two leaders.

Last week on Channel 2, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seemingly recognized Israel’s sovereignty over land inside the Green Line. On Tuesday morning, Peres referred to those statements as “bold.”

Peres refuted the skepticism that many current Israeli Cabinet members have expressed concerning Abbas’ comments. “I have know (Abbas) for many years…I know his views and his personality,” the president said. “It shows extraordinary courage for a Palestinian leader to stand up and say out loud ‘I was born in Safed, I want to visit Safed, but I know that I cannot live in Safed.'”

Peres said it is “an extraordinary privilege to travel to Moscow and say …thank you for delivering the death blow to the Nazis.”

Asher Zeiger contributed to this report.

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