MOSCOW – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet on Monday in Moscow to review the situation in Syria and the Middle East among other bilateral matters, according to a statement issued by the office of the Russian presidency.
“On January 29, Vladimir Putin will have a meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow,” read the brief presidential office statement.
Both world leaders will meet for the first time since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
According to Moscow, this decision could damage the Middle East peace process.
These bilateral top-level talks will be held at Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, where both leaders are set to attend an event commemorating last Saturday’s double anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad and the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp by the Soviet Red Army in 1944 and 1945, respectively.
According to Israeli media, Netanyahu is expected to express Israel’s concern regarding the Iranian nuclear program and his government’s opposition to the alleged permanent stationing of Iranian troops on Syrian soil.
These Russian-Israeli talks coincide with the opening day of the All-Syrian National Dialogue Congress held at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The congress is an initiative backed by Russia, Iran and Turkey that has been boycotted by Syria’s main opposition group, the High Negotiations Committee.