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Netanyahu in Moscow for brief talks with Putin
January 29, 2018, 10:18 am

Netanyahu has dismissed UN Security Council resolutions calling on Israel to halt illegal settlements in the West Bank but has hailed Trump’s Jerusalem decision as historic [Xinhua]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Monday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss developments in the Middle East.

His trip will last only five hours.

He is likely to press Putin on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as urge the Russian president to curb Iran’s influence in Syria.

In December, Netanyahu hailed US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but this runs contrary to Russian policy on the Middle East.

At the time, Putin said that Trump’s move on Jerusalem destabilized an already “difficult situation” in the Middle East.

“There needs to be a long-term and fair solution that fulfills the interests of both sides, and complies with previous stances of the international community,” Putin told reporters in December.

There are currently no embassies in Jerusalem as the international community considers it a disputed city with its final status only decided by agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

During a UN Security Council meeting in December, 14 of 15 members criticized Trump’s decision leaving US ambassador Nikki Haley having to defend her president’s position.

Israel has also been a staunch opponent to the Iran nuclear deal and called on both the Obama and Trump administrations to nullify it.

Last week, Trump extended the waiver on economic sanctions against Iran – a key aspect of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – but said that this would be the “last chance” to renegotiate the agreement, which he said was terribly flawed.

The 2015 deal stipulates that US presidents must sign a waiver suspending the sanctions regimen on Iran every four months.

Netanyahu has said that Iran will manipulate the deal to create nuclear weapons and that it is the “most significant terrorist nation of this age”.

Russia, on the other hand, played a pivotal role in securing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and has warned that any move to unravel the agreement would be a huge foreign policy debacle for the United States.

Read More: Russia warns US not to abandon Iran nuclear deal

Trump, Jerusalem and the Need for a Rebranded Palestinian Leadership

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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