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Israeli President-Elect Calls for Strengthening of Political Ties With Moscow

July 23, 2014   ·   0 Comments

TEL-AVIV, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – Israeli President-elect Reuven Rivlin during a meeting with Russia’s Federation Council members called for strengthening political ties with Moscow, including terrorism prevention, the Federation Council’s press center said Tuesday in a statement.

“The President-elect of Israel highlighted an importance of strengthening and developing relationships with Russia. He reminded us that the USSR was the first state to recognize the state of Israel, and also mentioned that more than a million Israeli citizens hail from former Soviet Republics,” the statement said.

The delegation, led by the council’s foreign affairs committee chairman Mikhail Margelov, is currently in Israel.

The Russian delegates discussed the current situation in the Near East, including the conflict in the Gaza Strip, during meetings with Reuven Rivlin, who will be inaugurated as Israeli president this week, Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin.

The politicians also discussed bilateral relationship prospects for Russia and Israel.

Rivlin supported the Russian initiative to exchange methods of terrorism prevention at the legislative level.

“This kind of cooperation is very important and interesting, from both juridical and practical perspectives,” Rivlin said.

Russian senators discussed the situation in the Arab world with Lieberman and diplomats focused on the prospects for the de-escalation of acute international crises, including the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Israeli leaders refrained from speaking publicly about Ukraine’s internal political crisis and on Crimea’s reunification with Russia following a referendum in March.

Lieberman has repeatedly expressed Israel’s readiness to contribute to the stabilization of relations between Russia and Ukraine, calling both countries friends of Israel.

On July 8, Israel launched Protective Edge, a special military operation in the Gaza Strip, targeting the Hamas movement and its allied groups of Palestinian rebels in response to Palestinian aggression.

On July 17, following days of fighting, the Israeli military switched to a ground invasion aimed at destroying underground tunnels dug by rebels used to secretly enter Israeli territory.

The total number of people killed over the last weeks in the conflict between Israel and Hamas exceeds 550 people, with more than 2,500 wounded.

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