9 Sep. 2021 20:07 clock
Israeli Foreign Minister Jair Lapid has traveled to Moscow to improve relations with Russia, which have recently cooled down. Russia’s top diplomat said at a press conference that Moscow was opposed to making Syria the site of confrontation between third countries.
After meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid reiterated that Iran and its nuclear program pose a “threat to the whole world,” the newspaper reports Haaretz.
Lapid traveled to Moscow on Wednesday evening to meet with Lavrov ahead of a meeting scheduled for October between new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At a joint press conference with Lavrov, Lapid said: “The world must prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability” – whatever the cost. He then threatened: “If the world doesn’t, Israel reserves the right to act.”
“Unfortunately, there will be no stability in Syria or the rest of the Middle East as long as there is an Iranian presence,” said Lapid. The Israeli foreign minister added that his country would not stand idly by as Iran holed up on its northern border.
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that Russia has an obligation to help Syria protect its sovereignty. According to Lavrov, the situation in Syria remains challenging in many ways as the interests of many countries are intertwined in the process. “There are legitimate interests, for example security interests.” But there are also interests that are not legitimate. “I mean primarily the US illegal occupation of a substantial part of Syrian territory,” which included plundering the resources of the Syrian people and coordinating with the Kurdish separatist, Lavrov said.
Russia’s top diplomat added that Moscow was opposed to making Syria the site of confrontation between third countries. It is crucial to move towards the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.
The exchange of information between Russia and Israel on the situation in Syria has proven useful and will continue, Lavrov said. Russia has already called on Israel several times to report possible threats to its security from Syria. Russia does not want Syrian territory to be used as a platform for the Iranian-Israeli conflict.
Thursday’s meeting in Moscow came amid reports of Russian dissatisfaction with Israeli air strikes on Syria. On Friday, the Russian army, which is supplying Syria with air defense systems, announced that Damascus had intercepted more than 20 missiles launched by Israeli jets on Thursday and Friday night. Two weeks ago, air defense systems in Syria repelled 22 missiles fired during an Israeli act of aggression, according to the Russian army.
At the invitation of President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government, Russia has been conducting a military campaign in Syria since 2015, helping it to regain control of the country after an externally incited and brutal rebellion.
Russia sees the willingness of the government of US President Joe Biden to resume the work of the Middle East Quartet (Russia, the USA, the EU and the United Nations), said the Russian Foreign Minister at the press conference.
more on the subject – Nuclear talks stall until the handover in Tehran: Will Israel attack Iran’s nuclear facilities?