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Netanyahu en route to Moscow to discuss urgent Iranian threat

Netanyahu en route to Moscow to discuss urgent Iranian threat

"This also presents a problem not only to Israel, but rather to all the nations of the Middle East and the entire world".

The ambassador spoke ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Sochi.

Netanyahu and Putin will meet in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi for their sixth series of talks since September 2015.

Netanyahu held a security consultation earlier in the day regarding the trip.

Such talks have allowed the two countries to so far avoid any confrontation between their air forces, as Russian Federation conducts airstrikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"I will raise the problem of Iran trying to establish a military presence in Syria", Netanyahu said on August 22.

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The trip to Moscow comes less than a week after Cohen led a delegation of senior Israeli officials to Washington for meetings there with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and other top USA officials regarding the same issue.

Israel argued that, if Iran remained in Syria, it would become a base for missiles being launched into Israel and Jordan.

Russian Federation and the United States maintain that they protected Israel's interests in establishing the cease-fire.

Israeli leaders have consistently pointed at Iran's increasing military presence in Syria as a matter of concern.

Israel and Russian Federation agreed to coordinate military actions over Syria to avoid accidental clashes two years ago.

A Kremlin statement said Putin and Netanyahu would "exchange opinions on bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East, primarily Syria, on fighting worldwide terrorism, a Palestinian-Israeli settlement and other global and regional issues". For this reason, former National Security Council adviser Yaakov Amidror said the prime minister's primary objective during his talks with Putin should be to let him know what Israel plans to do if Tehran tries to set up such a permanent military presence in Syria. In comments published this week, the chief of Israel's air force said Israel had struck suspected Hezbollah arms shipments in Syria around 100 times during the Syrian civil war, apparently without Russian interference and rarely drawing retaliation.


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