Expectations for a mutually beneficial relationship between Russia and Israel

Monday, 2021-10-25 08:46:57
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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia on October 22. (Photo: VNA/GPO)
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NDO – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has arrived in the Russian city of Sochi to hold talks with the President of the host country Vladimir Putin. Both leaders hope for constructive cooperation between the two countries, said to have a special relationship, in order to solve the “hot” issues of the Middle East.

This is Bennett’s first meeting with Putin since he took office as Israeli Prime Minister in June. President Putin described Russian-Israeli ties as “unique”, and expressed his hope that this relationship of trust will continue to develop as well as those Moscow had with the previous government in Israel.

Prime Minister Bennett affirmed that Israel considers Putis “a true friend of the Jewish people”, and lauded the efforts of the former Soviet army in the war against Nazi Germany.

One of the main topics being discussed during this meeting is the settlement of the Syrian crisis and joint efforts for a “breakthrough” regarding Iran's nuclear programme. As a signatory to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Russia is expected to be a key player in helping curb Iran’s ambitions in its nuclear programme.

The confrontation between Israel and Iran has long been strained by the Jewish state's accusations that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Russia is a country participating in direct negotiations with Iran to ensure Tehran’s nuclear programme is only used for peaceful purposes.

Regarding the Syrian crisis, Israel is still conducting air strikes against targets believed to be military facilities with links to pro-Iranian militias in Syria or the armed group Hezbollah. As a country that has been asked by the Syrian government to intervene militarily against terrorism, Russia can help reduce Israel’s concerns about Iran's strengthening of its role both in Syria and the region as a whole.

PM Bennett stressed that the relationship between Tel Aviv and Moscow plays an important role in Israel’s foreign policy, especially since there are up to one million Russian-speaking people in Israel and form a bridge between the two countries.

The Israeli PM has repeatedly affirmed Russia’s role in enhancing stability in the Middle East. In the context that Israel is always concerned about security threats in the region, especially issues related to Iran’s role, strengthening cooperation with Russia not only helps consolidate the mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries but also contributes to peace and security in the Middle East.

HA DAN/Translated by NDO