Putin To Meet Israeli PM, Iranian Official In Moscow

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Moscow: The Israeli Prime Minister and a senior Iranian official headed to Moscow on Wednesday for separate meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin — part of Syria-focused diplomatic efforts days ahead of the US-Russian summit.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before boarding a flight to Moscow that he would have a “very important meeting” with Putin today to discuss Syria, Iran and Israel’s security needs.”

“I very much appreciate the excellent direct connection, without intermediaries, between myself and the Russian president,” Netanyahu said.

“It is very important for the national security of the State of Israel.” Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was also traveling to Moscow for a meeting with Putin.

Both the United States and Israel are concerned about Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, where it has provided crucial aid to President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Israel has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran, or its proxies, to establish a permanent presence in postwar Syria. Tensions were brewing along the border in recent months, with Israel launching attacks on Iranian targets in Syria.

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