Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have agreed to meet for the first time since the downing of a Russian military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea last month.
The two leaders spoke Sunday morning, Netanyahu told his ministers at a weekly cabinet meeting, and agreed to meet in the near future “in order to continue the important security coordination between our militaries.”
Relations between the two countries have been tense since Russia blamed the downing of the aircraft on Israel, saying Israeli fighter jets had used the Russian aircraft as cover while carrying out a strike in Syria. Israel denied the accusation and blamed Syria for firing an anti-aircraft missile that struck the Russian plane.
In response to the incident, Russia deployed advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria, a move the US called a “significant escalation.”
“Israel will continue to operate in order to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and in order to prevent the transfer of lethal weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Netanyahu also said in the cabinet meeting.