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Putin, Netanyahu to discuss Syria situation


Moscow, May 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti): Russian President Vladimir Putin will Tuesday hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the crisis in Syria, the Kremlin press service said.

Netanyahu is to visit Russia on a working trip. The two leaders are expected to discuss "key issues of bilateral relations", focusing on the situation in the Middle East and "primarily... Syria", it said.

The leaders discussed the Syrian crisis by telephone May 6, after reports emerged that Israel had carried out several air strikes on Syrian territory in the previous few days.

Netanyahu will discuss Russian weapons supplies to Syria, a high-ranking source in Jerusalem told RIA Novosti.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Israel has warned the US that Russia plans to sell Syria advanced S-300 air defence missile systems.

Damascus has traditionally relied on Moscow for supplies of weapons, particularly air defence systems.

Russia's weapons supplies to Syria were also on the agenda during talks in Sochi between Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Russian side maintained its position that it is simply honouring existing contracts, a source in the Russian delegation said.

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