Putin, Trump agree on securing Israel’s border with Syria

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Trump and Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said he and US President Donald Trump agreed on securing Israel’s border with Syria, in accordance with the 1974 disengagement of forces deal following the Yom Kippur War.

When terrorist forces are wiped out in south and west Syria, Putin said, “the situation on the Golan Heights must be restored to what it was after the 1974 agreement, which set out the terms for the disengagement of forces between Israel and Syria.”

Putin, speaking at a joint press conference with the US leader following a private meeting, said this would “restore quiet to the Golan Height, and restore the ceasefire.”

The Russian leader said that during his “very successful” one-on-one meeting, Trump placed a special emphasis on maintaining Israel’s security.

Trump, for his part, noted that “President Putin also is helping Israel.” He said that both leaders had spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “and they would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel… We absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel, and Israel will be working with us. So both countries work jointly [for this purpose].”

Trump added that “creating safety for Israel is something both Putin and I would like to see very much.”

The two men also addressed Iran, with Putin noting that Russia still backed the 2015 nuclear accord that Trump quit in May, and Trump saying that the US would “not allow Iran to benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS (Islamic State).”

Netanyahu in a statement thanked the two leaders for their commitment to Israeli security.

He praised Trump, saying “The friendship between Israel and the US has never been stronger.”

Netanyahu “very much appreciates the security coordination between Israel and Russia and the clear position expressed by President Putin regarding the need to uphold the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria,” the statement added.

Trump and Putin touched on issues that included tensions on the Korean peninsula and the situation in Syria during their summit, Putin said.

“I consider [the talks] very successful and useful,” Putin said, praising the “frank and business-like atmosphere” of the summit.

He said Trump had raised accusations of Russian interference in US elections.

“I had to repeat what I have already said many times before — the Russian state has never interfered and is not planning to interfere in the USA’s internal affairs,” Putin said.

“It is obvious to everyone that bilateral ties are going through a difficult period. However there are no objective reasons for these difficulties, the current tense atmosphere,” he said.

Putin suggested special prosecutor Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is looking into interference in the November 2016 vote, send Moscow a request to interview the Russians he suspects of meddling.

Source: Times of Israel

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