Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu further said, “I conferred here today in Sochi, on the Black Sea, for about three hours with President Vladimir Putin. Most of the discussion dealt with Iran’s attempt to establish a foothold in Syria in the places where ISIS was defeated and is leaving. The victory over ISIS is welcome. Iran’s entry is unwelcome, endangering us, and in my opinion, endangering the region and the world.
I spoke to President Putin very clearly about our positions on this matter and the fact that this is unacceptable to us. I can say about previous meetings with President Putin that any such conversation served the security of Israel and Israeli interests and I believe Russia’s interests as well. Based on today’s conversation today, I think I can say the same things vis-à-vis Russia.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the outset of the meeting:
“Mr. President, I thank you for our meetings today, as they are important for Israel and Russia. I take this opportunity to also thank you for the pensions agreement, which benefits citizens of both countries and for your personal decision to help our Red Army veterans of World War II. We, and I, never forget the historic role that Russia and the Red Army played in defeating the Nazis. We say that at every opportunity, and it was recently also said in the Knesset.
As you know, Mr. President, that is the reason I initiated the construction of a monument in Netanya commemorating the Red Army and its involvement in the Second World War, a monument which you personally unveiled. And in that context, Israel obviously has no objection to including Russia in the Sobibór Memorial Site. A Jewish officer in the Red Army led the heroic uprising, and he is a national hero, for good reason, in Israel and in Russia.
Mr. President, in the past few years we have met to discuss not only our bilateral ties – we are continuously working on them – but also the situation in the Middle East, which is now changing rapidly. Iran is increasing its efforts to establish its military foothold in Syria. That is dangerous for Israel, the Middle East and, I believe, the whole world. Iran is already in advanced stages of taking over Iraq and Yemen, and in effect it also controls Lebanon.
Mr. President, we are all defeating ISIS in a concerted international effort, and that is welcome. What is not welcome is Iran moving in everywhere ISIS moves out. We do not forget for one minute that Iran continues to threaten Israel’s destruction every day; it is arming terrorist organizations and is itself instigating terrorism; and it is developing intercontinental missiles with the goal of arming them with nuclear warheads. For all these reasons, Israel continues to oppose Iran’s entrenchment in Syria. We will defend ourselves in any way against this threat and any threat.”