Lavrov to discuss bilateral relations, regional situation during visit to Israel

Russian foreign minister visiting Israel Monday for Syria talks

He also reaffirmed "Israel will continue to act against any attempt by Iran and its proxies to entrench militarily in Syria".

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday said he would consider granting the USA military a waiver to coordinate with Russian forces in Syria, adding that he'd "have to think long and hard" about such a move.

Smoke following the explosions in Syria is seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the Israeli Syrian border, July 19, 2018.

"During today's phone talk Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu continued exchanging views on the situation in the Middle East, with an emphasis on the Syrian settlement", the statement says.

The press service of the government reported that the evening of 23 July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian delegation headed by Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and the chief of the General staff of Russia Valery Gerasimov in his office in Jerusalem.

Israel's vigilance was underscored by the launch of its latest, US -backed missile shield against rockets that it said were fired from within Syria but which fell short of the Golan lines.




Israel had previously turned down a proposal by Russian Federation, the big-power backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, that Iranian forces be kept 80 km from the frontier, according to Israeli officials.

The proposals "take into account the agreements reached by the Russian and American presidents during their meeting in Helsinki" on Monday, he said.

Netanyahu and Putin discussed Syria and Iran earlier this month in Moscow. The incident triggered sirens in northern Israel and on the Golan, sending many residents to shelters.

According to preliminary estimates, these refugees include up to 890,000 from Lebanon, up to 300,000 form Turkey, about 150,000 from Jordan, up to 100,000 from Iraq and Egypt each, and up to 200,000 primarily from the European Union countries, said Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Defense Management Center.

The military did not immediately elaborate on whether the targets were shot down. An Israeli military spokeswoman said it does not comment on foreign reports.

Votel added that the military had "received no further direction than we've now been operating under" in Syria, where the United States and Russian Federation have backed opposing sides in the county's more than seven-year civil war.

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