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Netanyahu to discuss Syria in Moscow
May 13, 2013, 1:20 pm


The two sides hold contrasting positions on the ongoing conflict in Syria [AP]

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will arrive in Russia on an official visit tomorrow with talk on Syria set to be high on the agenda.

The two sides hold contrasting positions on the ongoing conflict in Syria.

“During the meeting an exchange of opinion is planned on key aspects of bilateral ties,” a Kremlin statement said today.

This will be Netanyahu’s first visit to Russia since 2010.

Netanyahu is expected to discuss the reports of Russia supplying advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has claimed that it is not planning on further supplies of weapons to Syria, but still has commitments under existing contracts.

“Russia is not planning to sell,” Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said while in Poland.

“Russia has sold and signed contracts a long time ago, and is completing supplies of the equipment – which is anti-aircraft systems, according to the already signed contracts,” Lavrov told reporters in Warsaw.

On Thursday last week, US secretary of state John Kerry said Washington did not want Russia to sell weapons to Syria because of the threat to Israel.

“I think we have made it crystal clear we would prefer that Russia was not supplying assistance,” Kerry said at a news conference after meeting Italian foreign minister Emma Bonino.

The Syrian crisis has been extensively discussed in Russia over the past week, with John Kerry and David Cameron visiting Moscow and Sochi respectively.

Russia and China have blocked resolutions against Syria in the UN Security Council several times and objected vehemently to any military intervention in Syria.

After the talks with John Kerry, Russia and the US agreed to set up an international conference to find a political solution to the crisis, bringing the sides of the conflict to the negotiations table.

Netanyahu and President Putin will also discuss Iran’s alleged nuclear programme.

Daria Chernyshova

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