Israeli Prime Minister’s Meeting with Russian President Putin
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert held a three hour and four minute meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, discussing a range of regional issues, including Israel’s security as a key element in Russia’s Mideast policy and long term planning. The prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement and Russia’s military involvement with Syria and Iran.
“The prime minister expressed satisfaction with the meeting,” Miri Eisen, the premier’s press secretary, said. Russia showed that it “considers Israel’s security interests as a substantial component of its policy in the region.”
U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice had just completed her visit to Israel to discuss with leaders regarding a peace conference planned for December in Annapolis, Maryland.
The Annapolis conference is expected to result in a framework agreement on peace efforts. The Israelis want to set out broad settlement principles, while the Palestinians are seeking very specific terms and conditions.
The United States would like other Arab states to attend the conference, but Arab nations are skeptical and have demanded more details. We think the odds are low they will attend. It is import to keep trying to convince them to attend.
Israel has urged Russia to use its influence to help solve the international standoff surrounding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Tehran insists its program is for energy production purposes only.
Russia is building a nuclear power plant in Iran, and has long been criticized for assisting in the country’s nuclear activities. China and Russia have been opposed to tougher sanctions on Tehran in the UN Security Council.
It has been 15 years since the two countries restored diplomatic ties, Olmert secured Kremlin assurances that Russia would step up control over arms exports in order to prevent them from being sold on to third countries. These have been long ongoing concerns and disputes.
Popularity: 13% [?]