(VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday evening, the eve of 28 Tammuz, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy, Alexander Lavrentiev, and with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin. They discussed regional developments. National Security Adviser and National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat also attended the meeting.
Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that Israel will not tolerate a military presence by Iran or its proxies anywhere in Syria and that Syria must strictly abide by the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will fly to Moscow later in the week to meet with Russian President Putin, when they will once again discuss the situation in Syria. This is part of PM Netanyahu’s continued effort to prevent a growing Iranian presence in Syria, which Israel has clearly stated it would not tolerate.
PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara surprised two children and invited them to join in watching the World Cup semi-final match Wednesday evening, 28 Tammuz, in Moscow. The children – Mika Lipsker, 18, from Katzir, whom the Prime Minister and his wife have known for years, and Alon Eizarayev, 13, from Petah Tikva, who was born in Russia – have cancer, and will be accompanied by their parents.
PM Netanyahu made the following remarks prior to taking off for Moscow:
“I am now leaving for Moscow for a very important meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We will discuss Syria, Iran and Israel’s security needs. I very much appreciate the excellent direct connection, without intermediaries, between myself and the Russian President. It is very important for the national security of the State of Israel.
“After the meeting, my wife and I have been invited to watch the World Cup semi-final match and they told us that we could bring two guests. We decided to bring with us two wonderful children who are bravely fighting cancer: Mika, whom my wife and I have known for nine years, and Alon, whose parents emigrated from Russia and who likes soccer very much. We are very moved that we can realize a dream for them.
“Of course, when they ask me, ‘Prime Minister, who will win?’ I answer you as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister: ‘The better team’. It should be a fascinating game.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO)