Putin To Meet Netanyahu Five Days Before Trump

PM calls on European leaders to stop appeasing Iran, especially after Iranian-backed bombing plot in Paris.

Lior Sharon

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Jerusalem on June 25, 2012 Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Moscow next week to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, just five days before Putin is scheduled to meet in Helsinki with US President Donald Trump.

The issues that will dominate Netanyahu’s talks with Putin – Iran and Syria – are also expected to be high on the list of topics to be discussed when the Russian and US leaders hold their first summit.

Netanyahu’s meeting with Putin comes just two months after the prime minister last flew to Moscow to discuss the situation in Syria, and comes amid growing concerns in Jerusalem about the situation in southwestern Syria, where Syrian President Bashar Assad, together with Russian air support and Iranian backed Shi’ite militias, are poised to regain control of the area.

Netanyahu made clear Tuesday during a speech at the state memorial service for Theodor Herzl that Israel will strictly enforce the separation of forces agreement it has with Syria from 1974, and expects others to adhere to that agreement as well.

At a speech an hour later at a US Embassy party in Airport City to celebrate July 4th, Netanyahu praised Trump for withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying this was the “greatest thing for the security of the world and for the security of Israel.”

But, Netanyahu said, “this is not yet universally accepted.”

Netanyahu noted that the other world powers who were involved in the JCPOA – France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia – are to meet on Friday in Vienna with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss “how to go around the decision that President Trump and the United States made to leave this bad deal, which is funding Iran’s terrorism and aggression with billions of dollars.”

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