Israeli PM to meet Putin in Moscow

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Moscow on Thursday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, his office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Netanyahu’s office did not elaborate on which issues the two leaders will be discussing in their meeting.

The office said that Netanyahu and Putin spoke by telephone on Monday over “regional issues” that included Syria, Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting will be held five days before Israel’s April 9 election in which Netanyahu is seeking to be re-elected for a fifth term.

Shifting from a long-held US foreign policy, President Donald Trump last Thursday recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a territory Israel captured from Syria in a war in 1967 and later annexed.

The move triggered international condemnations.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is fighting rebel groups in Syria’s eight-year civil war, with Russian support.