PM’s Office Confirms Netanyahu-Putin Meeting in the Works

YERUSHALAYIM -
Giant banners of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump are hung on the Likud’s party headquarters in Tel Aviv. (Reuters/Nir Elias)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is working to organize a meeting a meeting between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin – likely in Israel – before the elections, scheduled for a week from next Tuesday. The efforts were confirmed by sources in the Prime Minister’s Office, Israeli media reported.

The meeting with Putin, sources quoted in media outlets said, would shore up the Prime Minister’s support among Russian-speaking voters, and present him as a strong leader with warm and personal ties to the world’s two greatest superpowers “If that doesn’t convince the voters, then nothing will,” the sources were quoted as saying.

Netanyahu visited Moscow earlier this year, and invited Putin to Israel, and Kan News reported that efforts were being made to bring Putin to Israel in the coming days. During their meeting, the Russian President said he would attend a ceremony in Yerushalayim for the dedication of a memorial to those killed in the siege of Leningrad during World War II. Netanyahu is said to be hoping to host that event before the election.

In June, Israel hosted a major security conference with the National Security Advisors of the United States and Russia. Representing Israel in the trilateral meeting was Meir Ben-Shabbat, Israel’s National Security Adviser, who met with John Bolton of the U.S. and Nikolai Petroshov of Russia. The three discussed regional issues, including Iran, statements from all three countries said.