Netanyahu announced at a cabinet meeting that he spoke with both Putin and Pompeo about developments in the region.

Netanyahu and Putin

Netanyahu and Putin Photo Credit: The Kremlin, Office of the President

At today’s (Sunday) weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he discussed Syria over the weekend with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We discussed regional issues and focused, of course, on Syria. I reiterated out guiding principles regarding Syria,” he said.

“First of all, Iran needs to withdraw from all of Syria. Second, we will and are taking action against efforts to establish a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria, both close to the border and deep inside Syria.”

Netanyahu first met with Secretary of State Pompeo in April, during his first visit to Israel as Secretary of State. During their meeting, they reportedly discussed rising Iranian aggression and the Iranian nuclear deal.

Reports of Netanyahu’s phone call with Putin were released on Friday. The prime minister’s office said that Netanyahu first congratulated Putin on Russia Day, an annual celebration which marks Russia’s sovereignty from the Soviet Union, before discussing the various developments in the region. The two leaders reportedly came to an agreement regarding the “continued security coordination” between the two countries.

Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met with Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in Moscow. “Israel appreciates Russia’s understanding of our security needs, especially at our northern border,” Lieberman said. “It is important to continue the dialogue between us and keep an open line between the IDF and the Russian military on all pertaining issues.”