A senior Israeli government source said that Russia and Israel would form a working group with the participation of a number of countries to study the issue of the removal of foreign troops from Syria.
“A decision was taken to form a working group with the participation of Russia, Israel and a number of other countries to study the issue of the removal of foreign troops from Syria”, the source said.
The source gave no further details on the team or countries to which it would join.
This comes in the wake of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made his first visit to Russia after the shooting of a Russian plane near the Syrian coast last September.
A Kremlin statement said Putin discussed with Netanyahu issues of bilateral cooperation and international and regional issues, particularly the situation in Syria and the Middle East settlement.
Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday warned against a “threat” posed by Iran, Syria’s main ally with Russia.
“Iran is the biggest threat to the stability and security of the region and we’ll do our best to keep this danger away”, Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting in the Kremlin.
“It is very important to discuss issues related to regional security”, Putin said.
Iran, Russia and Hezbollah are the allies of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said that he will not allow Iran to use Syria as a military launching pad against it.
Netanyahu was accompanied by National Security Council chairman Meir Ben Shabat and military intelligence chief Tamir Heyman.
Netanyahu said before his departure to Moscow that the talks would focus on “ways to prevent Iran from establishing itself in Syria, to prevent this country which says publicly that its goal is to destroy us”.
Netanyahu said Sunday that his talks with Putin were “very important” in order to secure Israel’s “freedom of movement” in Syria against Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah, while avoiding friction with Russian forces.
Israel has long been silent about its operations in Syria.
But Netanyahu said in January that the Israeli air force had hit “hundreds” of Iranian targets in Syria in recent years.
This long meeting was the first between Putin and Netanyahu since September 17, 2018, when Syrian defenses accidentally dropped a Russian aircraft during an Israeli air strike on Syria.
The killing of 15 Russian soldiers in the incident has strained Russia and Israel, and the freedom of movement Israel wants in Syria has been questioned.
Since 17 September, Putin and Netanyahu have been on the phone several times, but they met only briefly on November 11 in Paris on the sidelines of the commemoration of the end of the First World War.
“We’ll certainly discuss in detail with President Putin how the Russian army is coordinating with Israeli forces to prevent friction and confrontation between them”, Netanyahu said.
“This is the main objective of my trip to Moscow”.
The two men were due to hold talks on Thursday, but were postponed at the last minute.
The Israeli government didn’t provide a reason for the delay.
But Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov has raised the issue of the election campaign in Israel as a possible cause.