Israeli PM, Russian envoy meet over Syria issue

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-30 06:43:52|Editor: ZX
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JERUSALEM, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Syrian affairs Alexander Lavrentiev met in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The meeting focused on Russia's and Israel's ongoing involvement in Syria. "Among the issues discussed were Iran and the situation in Syria," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the two discussed "strengthening the security coordination mechanism between the militaries in order to prevent friction."

Also attending the meeting were Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, and Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.

Russia first sent forces to fight in Syria in 2015. Israel has carried out there hundreds of airstrikes over the past years, saying the attacks targeted Iranian sites in order to prevent the Islamic republic entrenching itself in Syria.

The recent meeting came in the wake of an agreement achieved earlier in January between the Israeli and Russian militaries to continue the coordination of their military actions in Syria.

Israel has become increasingly concerned over the expected withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Syria, fearing it will expose the Jewish state to threats by Iran, which Israel considers as its biggest enemy.

Iranian forces fight in Syria alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces.