Netanyahu meets with Putin in Moscow, talks to focus on military coordination, Syria, Russian arms sales to Iran
Prime Minister Netanyahu travelled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday, their meeting focused on Russia’s military coordination with Israel, Russian arms sales to Iran as well as Israel’s stance on the Golan Heights as sovereign, Israeli territory. The meeting is also reported to focus on Israel’s security as Russia withdrawals from Syria, specifically in relation to Hezbollah.
At the beginning of their closed meeting, Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, stating to Putin “Israel has clear red lines connected to our security. Whether with an agreement or without an agreement, the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty.
On Sunday, the Knesset held a special meeting on the Golan Heights Sunday amidst ongoing negotiations for ending Syria’s civil war, Prime Minister Netanyahu clarifying that the Golan Heights is Israeli territory and has flourished since Israel captured the region during the Six Day War. Touching on the necessity of Israel’s security amidst Syria’s conflict, Netanyahu called for international recognition of Israeli sovereignty of the region.
Netanyahu stated that “In the 19 years the Golan was under Syrian occupation, it was used for bunkers, barbed wire fences, landmines, and aggression. It was used for war. In the 49 years it has been under Israeli rule, it has been used for agriculture, tourism, economic initiatives, construction. It is being used for peace.” He spoke of the Syrian war, stating “Whatever happens on the other side of the border, the line is not going to change. The time has come after 50 years for the international community to acknowledge that the Golan Heights will permanently remain under Israeli sovereignty… I chose to hold this special government meeting in the Golan Heights to send a clear message. The Golan Heights will forever remain in Israel’s hands.”