In an interview with Channel 20 Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named the changing situation in the region "in past weeks" and, in particular, on the Israeli-Syrian border, as the reason for an "urgent" meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The situation in Syria, Netanyahu observed, "was stable until the last weeks." "Over the past weeks, there have been enormous changes," he added, recalling that at the "northern border of Israel", there has been an armed conflict since 2011 in Syria, in which Russia has taken part on the side of the government troops since 2015.
"In order to ensure the absence of clashes between the Israeli army and Russian troops, from time to time we discuss what we are doing in the light of [this] situation," the Prime Minister explained, stressing once again that "in recent weeks" this situation "has changed".
"All the talks we had with Putin uniquely served to strengthen confidence between our countries, and I think it was not only in the interests of Russia, but also in our interests," Netanyahu said. Negotiations during his last meeting with the Russian leader, he said, were devoted "almost entirely" to Iranian attempts to increase strength in Syria.
The discussions took place on August 23 in Sochi. Over the course of the talks, the Israeli Prime Minister also called Iran a threat not only to Israel, but also to the whole world, noting that Tehran "initiates terror". "Iran is making great efforts to strengthen its presence in Syria," Netanyahu explained. During the meeting with Putin, in addition to that, he also spoke about the situation in the Middle East and the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organization.