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Israel will continue to act against Iran in Syria, Netanyahu tells Putin in Moscow

(JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday that Israel will continue to act against Iran’s attempts to entrench militarily in Syria.

Netanyahu shortened his trip and planned to return Wednesday night, the day of his meeting with Putin, reportedly so he could be in Israel on Thursday, when Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit may issue decisions on several criminal investigations against the prime minister.

The prime minister had postponed his meeting with Putin from last week because of “domestic political affairs,” the Kremlin announced at the time.

Prior to the start of their meeting, Netanyahu told Putin that Israel is “determined to continue our vigorous action against the attempts by Iran, which calls for our destruction,” according to the Israeli leader’s office.

Netanyahu said he believes the 11 meetings with Putin in the last 3 1/2 years are “a vital component in preventing risks and friction between our militaries and contributes to security and stability in the region.”

He invited Putin to attend the dedication of a memorial in Jerusalem to those who fell during the siege of Leningrad during World War II, when approximately 500,000 Jews fought in the Red Army. Putin reportedly accepted the invitation.

Along with Syria, the two discussed regional affairs and security coordination.

On Wednesday evening, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, met with leaders of the Jewish community in Moscow.

“The Russian-speaking public [in Israel], over 1 million people, has changed the country and, together with the Jewish community here in Russia and Moscow, constitutes a living bridge between these two peoples,” he said.