Diplomacy

Putin, Netanyahu Hail Improved Military Coordination After Meeting in Paris

Following talks at the international climate change conference in Paris, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the increased military coordination between their two nations, The Times of Israel reported on Monday.

“I just had an important talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We agreed to deepen the coordination between us in order to prevent mishaps and to do so on a broad basis,” Netanyahu told reporters after their brief meeting.

“I think that every citizen of Israel understands today, in light of recent events on the Turkish border, the great importance of my trip to Moscow and these ongoing contacts with the Russian president,” he said, referring to the Russian jet shot down last week by Turkey along the Turkish-Syrian border.

Netanyahu added that top Israeli and Russian military officials will meet to further discuss this arrangement on Tuesday.

Putin similarly praised the coordination, and credited Netanyahu with proposing the mechanism established to avoid conflicts between the two armies. He also extended his well wishes for the upcoming Jewish holiday Hannukah, saying it “symbolizes the triumph of light over dark.”

Due to concerns over Russia’s military involvement in Syria, Netanyahu met with Putin in September to establish “a joint mechanism for preventing misunderstandings between our forces” in and near Syrian territory. The two nations established a hotline in October to ensure that their air forces could communicate easily and avoid unintended clashes.

On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced that a Russian jet had recently flown into Israeli airspace and immediately retreated to Syria after being informed.

Netanyahu also met with other world leaders during the climate change conference, and spoke briefly with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Eight Israeli clean-tech companies are scheduled to present their products and services at the conference early next week.

[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]