Putin tells Netanyahu of need for 'strict' stability in Mideast

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reminded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the need to maintain stability following the recent Israeli operations near the Lebanese border. 

Speaking over the phone, Putin and Netanyahu discussed the Israeli operations, the Kremlin said in a statement on Sunday. 

"The president of Russia stressed the importance of ensuring stability in the region," the statement said.

Ties between Damascus and Tel Aviv have been strained since Russia’s delivery of the S-300 missile defense system to Syria following the September downing of a Russian spy aircraft during an Israeli airstrike.

Russia has blamed Israel for the incident, which killed 15 Russian crew members. The Defense Ministry has said Israeli jets used the Russian plane as cover to attack Syria.

In their late Saturday talks held at the initiative of Netanyahu, Putin told him that Israel must improve its military coordination with Russia, the Kremlin said. 

The Russian leader also emphasized the importance of the upcoming talks between their military experts to examine the circumstances of the September incident. 

Israel has recently deployed additional troops along Lebanon’s border under the pretext of “cutting off” Hezbollah tunnels near the occupied territories.

Netanyahu has boasted that the Israeli operation was "only a small piece of the big picture" of what he called efforts to ensure its security. 

The operation has drawn rebuke and ridiculous even from Israeli leaders, with opposition leader Tzipi Livni criticizing Netanyahu for overdramatizing the campaign “for political gain.”

"We are not now in a situation where our soldiers are behind enemy lines. We are talking about engineering activity …,” she said, accusing the Israeli premier of “blowing the incident out of proportion.”

Intelligence and transport minister Israel Katz said Friday that Israeli forces may need to go into Lebanon to deal with the alleged tunnels.

An Israeli incursion into Lebanon would likely spark a major confrontation with Hezbollah. The Lebanese resistance movement has warned that Israel would "regret" invading Lebanon.

In his talks with Netanyahu, Putin “stressed the importance of ensuring stability in the region in strict accordance with Resolution 1701 of the UN Security Council,” the Kremlin statement read.

He was referring to the 2006 UN Security Council resolution issued after the Second Lebanon War, the last major conflict between Israel and Hezbollah which ended with the victory of the Lebanese movement.

News Code 189624

Your Comment

You are replying to: .
4 + 3 =