Netanyahu set for third Russia visit in recent months

In September, Netanyahu and Putin agreed to set up a "hotline" to avoid accidental clashes (File Photo: AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Moscow on Monday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, the premier’s office said, with the two having held talks in recent months over the conflict in Syria.

Netanyahu’s two-day trip is his third to Russia since September and also comes as the two nations mark 25 years since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.

The Israeli premier’s office did not provide details on the talks, but Syria is likely to play a prominent part.

With both Israel and Russia having carried out military operations in war-torn Syria, the two countries have sought to coordinate their actions to avoid accidental clashes.

Russian forces have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the conflict.

Israel opposes Assad but has sought to avoid being dragged into the war. It fears however that the chaos in the neighbouring country could help strengthen its arch-enemy Hezbollah.

Netanyahu admitted publicly for the first time in April that Israel had attacked dozens of convoys in Syria which were transporting weapons to the Lebanese Shiite militia, which fights alongside Assad’s forces.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48