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Gaza Swap on Agenda as Bennett and Putin Talk for First Time

July 6, 2021

by: Itamar Eichner

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Tuesday, 6 July 2021 | Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since taking office last month, with the issue of Israeli prisoners held in Gaza taking the spotlight.

According to [the] prime minister’s office, the two discussed a number of security and political issues but the talk primarily focused on two dead Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians held by Hamas in Gaza.

Bennett also thanked the Russian president for the role his country plays in maintaining regional stability.

In addition, Bennett said that he appreciates the historical connection between the two peoples, and that he attaches great importance to the Russian aliyah [immigration to Israel], which he said represents a “bridge between the two countries.”

The two leaders agreed to meet in person soon.

One of the main issues on the agenda between Israel and Russia in recent years has been Israeli fear of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria, where Russia has military forces aiding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces’] activity in the region to prevent it.

Moscow apparently fears that Israeli activity in Syria will harm its interests in the region and wants coordination between the two countries.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed on several occasions that thanks to his close relationship with Putin, Russian opposition to IDF activity in Syria has been minimized.

Posted on July 6, 2021

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on July 5, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

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