Russia is seeking to cement ties with Israel — Putin

MOSCOW, June 7 (KUNA) — Russia is seeking to promote further its “historic” bilateral ties with Israel at various levels, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday as he hosted the visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Moscow highly values the bonds with Tel Aviv because Israel “plays a prime role in the Middle East,” Putin said in remarks during his reception of Netanyahu, according to a Russian electronic media website.
Putin expressed confidence that Netanyahu’s visit to Russia “would be fruitful and would result in cementing the relations between the two countries.” Also in this respect, he noted that a large number of Jews of Russian origin live in Israel.
For his part, the Israeli premier said his visit to Moscow is of prior significance for it coincided with the 25th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Moscow and Tel Aviv have reportedly reached an understanding to avoid “frictions” on the Syrian combat arena. Moscow supports the Damascus regime and has employed heavy-caliber arms namely missiles and aircraft in Syria to back up the regime.
Israel has adopted a largely pragmatic policy toward Moscow, a main arms supplier to Syria. (end) as.rk