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Israel Applauds after Putin Endorses Renewed Syria-Israel Ceasefire

July 16, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & Russian Pres. Putin working together on Syria. Illustrative photo, courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israel GPO)

The superpower with the most influence in Syria right now is Russia, a key ally to the Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime, so the Israelis were heartened when Moscow stated publicly on Monday that they want a return to the ceasefire terms between Israel and Syria that ended their last full-scale war in 1974. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that “after the terrorists are routed in southwest Syria” the situation in the Israel-Syria border region known as the Golan Heights region “should be brought into full conformity with the 1974 agreement on the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces.”

Putin, speaking during a press conference with US President Donald Trump published to the Kremlin website, said that situation “will make it possible to bring tranquility to the Golan Heights and restore the ceasefire between the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Israel… I would like to emphasize that Russia has a stake in this course of events and will adhere to exactly this position.”

That was good news for Israel, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying he “very much appreciates the security coordination between Israel and Russia and the clear position expressed by President Putin regarding the need to uphold the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria.”

Israel has repeatedly been hit with stray fire from Syria’s internal civil war due to fighting near the border, and last Friday a Syrian drone flew into the demilitarized zone between the countries, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page. Israel fired a Patriot missile at the drone that likely intercepted the unmanned aircraft.

Israel has also worked to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to anti-Israel terrorists by the Syrian regime and the establishment of Iranian bases in Syria.

Putin wasn’t the only one talking peace for Israel on Monday. President Trump specifically focused on the Golan Heights troubles in his talks with Putin and highlighted that both the US and Russia want to assist Israel.

Trump, according to the transcript of his remarks posted to the Kremlin website, said Russia “ would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. So, in that respect we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel, and Israel will be working with us, so both countries would work jointly

“…I think that working with Israel is a great thing, and creating safety for Israel is something that both President Putin and I would like to see very much.”

The leader of Israel, meanwhile, expressed his appreciation of President Trump’s support. The Israeli statement said Netanyahu “commends the abiding commitment of the US and President Donald Trump to the security of Israel… The friendship between Israel and the US has never been stronger.”

Not every comment in the Trump-Putin press conference was positive for Israel, however.

Putin called their preferred return to an Israel-Syria ceasefire a “step towards establishing a just and durable peace” on the basis of the land for peace United Nations resolution that calls for Israel to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria.

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 16, 2018)

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