Netanyahu lands in Russia to push Iran troop removal

Netanyahu lands in Russia to have Iran troops 'removed from Syria'
1 min read
12 September, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in Russia for talks which will reportedly centre on Israel's aim of having Iranian troops removed from Syria.
Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that removing Iran's presence in Syria is a 'joint goal' [Getty]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Sochi on Thursday and was due to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin later in the day.

Netanyahu's visit comes a day after Russia's foreign ministry warned that the Israeli leader's plan to annex the Jordan Valley could trigger a "sharp escalation of tensions in the region [and] undermine hopes for the establishment of long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours".

Speaking before departing Israel, Netanyahu said the focus of the talks would be to promote the "joint goal" of removing Iranian forces from neighbouring Syria.

"Every meeting between us is important," he said as he shook hands with Shoigu in Sochi.

Netanyahu and the Putin have met regularly in recent years to coordinate military activities in Syria.

Russia, alongside Israel's rivals Iran and Hezbollah, waded into Syria's conflict to prop up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Israel and Russia have established a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria, but the system did not prevent a friendly fire incident in September 2018 when Syrian air defences downed a Russian plane during an Israeli raid.