Netanyahu, Putin, to discuss military cooperation in Syria


If Iran is not stopped from entrenching itself militarily in Syria or turning Lebanon into a "factory for precision missiles" aimed at Israel, then Israel will stop it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday.

Speaking in a video statement after his talks with Putin, Netanyahu hailed what he described as a "good and in-depth" meeting.

Netanyahu's comments on Lebanon come as Israel is launching a diplomatic campaign warning that it will not tolerate precision missiles manufactured in Lebanon. "I can't speak for the Russian position, but they understood that if certain changes weren't made, it is very possible that the U.S. would make good on its threat" to withdraw from the deal. Netanyahu said he will pass it on to Yad Vashem.

The two leaders were meeting at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, where together they toured a new exhibit on the Sobibór extermination camp.

Netanyahu said the "main lesson of the rise of the Nazis and, afterward, their defeat, is that one needs to take a strong and timely stand against murderous ideologies".

"As you know, in our country there were many victims, in almost every family", the Russian leader continued.

Putin called the meeting "very symbolic, because these days the entire world is remembering the victims of the Holocaust".

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Putin noted that Russian Federation and Israel are "co-operating closely in resisting attempts to falsify history and revise the results of WWII, deny Holocaust and downplay a decisive role the Soviet Union played in defeating the Nazis". "They were the ones who made a big sacrifice for victory over the Nazis".

Netanyahu was accompanied by Minister Ze'ev Elkin, a member of the security cabinet who is considered to have close ties with Russian officials as well as National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and outgoing Military Intelligence chief Maj.

"We meet periodically in order to ensure the military coordination between the IDF and the Russian forces in Syria; as of today this has succeeded and it is important that it continue to succeed".

"Syrian honor is above all else", Assad emphasized.

Israel has also warned against the establishment of Iranian missile factories in Syria, as well as the transfer of advanced weapons from that country to Hezbollah.

The premier has sought to persuade Russian Federation to limit Iran's presence near Israeli territory and to stop it from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.

As a gift, the Russian president handed him an original letter that Oskar Schindler sent to his wife, Netanyahu said.