Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu & Russian President Vladimir Putin set to meet in January; They spoke Friday over the phone regarding several topics, such as Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

On Friday, the Kremlin confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be visiting Israel in January. This announcement came after a phone call took place between Netanyahu and Putin. Originally, the intent was for Putin to visit at the same time as French President Emmanuel Macron, where the two of them would attend International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem.

Their conversation on Friday primarily pertained to what is going on in Syria, along with other events throughout the Middle East. Russia has been involved in the Syrian civil war for some time, assisting the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which is beyond controversial in and of itself. At the same time, Iran has been entrenching themselves throughout the Middle East, with a heavy focus on Syria, which has led to countless Israeli airstrikes throughout the war-torn country where multiple Russian troops currently reside. While Israel has zero intentions of targeting Russian military forces, they will stop at nothing to prevent Iran from having their way in Syria.

Another topic of discussion was Naama Issachar, a 26-year-old American-Israeli woman who recently began serving a 7.5-year sentence in a Russian prison for what Russia claims to be drug smuggling. She was flying back to Israel from India when marijuana was found in her bag during a layover. Reports indicate that Moscow is going to take Netanyahu’s request for a pardon under consideration.