(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed his Russian counterpart, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, that he will prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria. In a Nov. 9 meeting with Medvedev in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said Israel has two key objectives concerning Iran: “First, prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons and second, to prevent Iran – in any situation that arises in Syria, with or without an agreement – from establishing itself militarily in Syria, on the ground, in the air or at sea.” Netanyahu also noted that Israel will continue to prevent Hezbollah or any other Iranian-backed Shi’a Muslim militias from obtaining dangerous weapons.
Despite warm relations between Israel and Russia, Russia is a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah. Medvedev hailed the strong bilateral ties between Israel and Russia, noting the “special values” the countries share. “Every time I visit Israel I feel at home,” he said. “Our countries have common challenges, primarily terrorism. Terror threatens the entire world, but in this region it is felt particularly strongly.”
Medvedev’s visit is part of bilateral exchanges marking the 25th anniversary of Russian-Israeli diplomatic relations. Earlier this year, Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin made separate visits to Moscow.