Russia plays an important role in the Middle East, and Israel values Russian President Vladimir Putin's understanding of the importance of ensuring security of the Jewish state, Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz told TASS in an interview ahead of Putin's visit to Israel on January 23.
"Russia plays an important role in the Middle East. Israel works on resolving regional issues in cooperation with Russia. Israel values President Putin's understanding of the importance of ensuring security of the State of Israel. I am confident that this time Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss a lot of issues, including countering the Iranian threat to Israel and to the whole region," TASS quoted Katz as saying.
"Iran's strengthening positions on the territory of Syria represent a threat to Israel's security, and we cannot allow such developments. Iran brings a threat not only for our country but also for the whole region," the Israeli foreign minister stressed noting that Israel "will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons."
Katz said that "usually at talks [between the Russian and Israeli leaders], regional issues are discussed, as well as spheres in which the countries can further develop their relations."
In 2019, Putin met with Netanyahu three times — in February and March in Moscow, and in September in Sochi.
World Holocaust Forum
During his visit to Israel, Putin will also attend the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. "We highly value Russian President Putin's visit to our country. Israel considers as important the contribution of the Soviet Union to the liberation of concentration camps. We think that remembering the victims of the Holocaust is the duty of every country in the world. We are happy to welcome representatives of seven dozen countries who decided to partake in such an important event as the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem," Katz said.
The forum is held in Israel for the first time this year. It is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Oswiecim. "This event connects the dart past with the modern reality of the prospering State of Israel. It is important to not forget about the Holocaust, so that this tragedy does not happen again," Katz said.
The 5th World Holocaust Forum will be held on January 23 at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Among participants in the forum will be the heads of state and government of 46 countries, including Russia, France, Austria, Greece, Italy and Ukraine.