Israeli President Describes Putin’s Visit as Historic
JERUSALEM (RIA Novosti) — In his remarks about Russian President
Vladimir Putin’s ongoing visit to Israel, president of the country
Moshe Katzav said the trip was historic. "This is the highest
point of relations. This visit reflects both countries and peoples’
relations-building aspirations," the Israeli president said.
He said the two states had shared interests, "which is why
we are interested in developing ties on a broad range of issues,"
different periods of storms and lulls in our relations but ever
since the re-establishment of relations between Russia and Israel,
they have been getting stronger," he said.
to the Israeli president, "Jews will always remember Red
Army’s role in defeating Germany. We are well aware of USSR’s
support for the creation of the state of Israel."
Israel should "improve coordination in the fight against
terrorism, extremism, and religious intolerance," the Russian
He said at
the meeting with his Israeli counterpart, "the celebration
scheduled for May 9 in Moscow will again send a strong message
of the international community’s integrity in the fight against
Jewish people, like the peoples of our country, suffered greatest
losses during the [Second World] war," Putin said.
the Nazi invasion failed to break the inspiration of our people
for freedom and a right to its own way of development," the
Russian president underscored.
Related to the Russian President’s Historic Visit to Israel:
Putin’s Historic Visit to Israel
** Russian, Israeli
Presidents’ Joint Statement
** PM Sharon Meets
with Russian President Putin
Israel: Putin Visits Holocaust Memorial
** Putin Says He Will
Help Rebuild Gaza Infrastructure
** Putin: Russia Ready
for Nuclear Cooperation with Israel
** Russia Backs Palestinians’
** Russia to Train,
Equip Palestinian Security Forces
** Putin in Jerusalem
Visits Russian Ecclesiastical Mission But Not Wailing Wall
** Middle East "Roadmap"
Has No Alternative – Yakovenko Says
Israel Satisfied with Putin’s Visit
** Israel Wants to
Discuss with Putin Above All Russia’s
Cooperation with Iran and Syria
Historic Visit to Israel
(IFM) Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is carrying out the
first-ever visit by a Russian or Soviet leader to Israel, is meeting
this afternoon with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, THE JERUSALEM
POST reported. Sharon expressed his pleasure about the timing
of Putin’s visit, which is close to the anniversary of the end
of World War II. Sharon told Putin at the opening of their meeting:
"We will never forget how the Soviet Union liberated the
President met with President Moshe Katsav earlier. During their
talks, Putin hinted that if Iran did not cooperate with the international
community regarding its nuclear development, Russia would support
taking the issue to "other venues,” most likely the
UN Security Council. He also said he opposed the acquisition of
nuclear weapons by Iran.
that Russia’s aid to Iran’s nuclear program was for peaceful purposes
only. He insisted that in their deal, Russia had stipulated that
spent nuclear fuel sent to Iran be returned to Russia.
with Katsav, Putin said the missile deal that Russia had signed
with Syria did not pose a threat to Israel. He added that missiles
which have a 300-kilometer range and thus could threaten Israel,
had been excluded from the deal.
Russian, Israeli Presidents’
JERUSALEM (RIA Novosti) — The presidents of Russia and Israel,
Vladimir Putin and Moshe Katsav, have signed a joint statement
on results of their talks.
It reads among
other things, that "Russia and Israel will enhance their
cooperation efficiency towards strengthening all-round interaction
between the two states, showing mutual respect and trust".
of Russia and Israel have unconditionally condemned terrorism.
sides are full of resolve to develop cooperation in opposing the
modern threats and challenges. They unconditionally condemn as
criminal and unjustifiable all the acts, methods and practices
of terrorism wherever and whomever commits them", the statement
It notes that
the sides will go on actively to interact within the framework
of an uncompromising struggle against terrorism in all its forms.
also stresses that Russia and Israel confirm the inadmissibility
of resolving international conflicts by the military means and
continue seeking the attainment of a fair, lasting and comprehensive
settlement in the Middle East. It also intends the normalization
of relations between Israel and the Arab states. The sides come
out for a consistent on-ward movement to peace in the region.
reads that Russia and Israel are set "comprehensively to
promote the practice of consultations and the exchange of opinions
in all questions of mutual interest".
the framework of efforts to deepen dialog and all-round cooperation,
the sides will encourage the development of contacts, exchanges
in different areas, including contacts through their parliaments,
security councils, representatives of the business circles, as
well as in the field of science, culture, education, tourism,
sport, civil society and human contacts", the statement reads.
Sharon Meets with Russian President Putin
by Israel’s Prime Minister’s Media Adviser
Ariel Sharon met this afternoon (Thursday), 28 April 2005, with
Russian President Vladimir Putin and made the following remarks
at the start of the meeting:
are pleased to host Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is
my fourth meeting with President Putin and I am happy that the
meeting is being held in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the
Jewish people. I am certain that this meeting will deepen bilateral
relations. I know that, last night, you visited several sites
in Jerusalem and I am certain that on your next visit you will
succeed in seeing many more. I am glad that you chose this date,
so close to May 9, when the world marks the victory over Nazi
Germany. The State of Israel and the Jewish people will never
forget the sacrifices and deeds of the Russian people, who liberated
the Jews from the extermination camps.
will discuss various issues and I am certain that the warm relations
between Russia and Israel, and between myself and President Putin,
will remain as such and will become even warmer. I want you to
know that you are among friends here.”
Vladimir Putin replied: “Thank you very much for your kind
words regarding both myself and my country. You referred to the
period in which this meeting is being held, days that are very
important to us because our peoples suffered more victims than
All of our
previous meetings were fruitful and made our current meeting possible.
My visit is taking place during Passover and the Eastern Orthodox
Pascha. I would like to wish the Jewish people well with all my
heart; I wish joy for the entire Jewish family.”
Sharon welcomed Russian President Putin on his visit to Israel
and said that Israel is greatly interested in advancing bilateral
relations and enhancing them in all areas.
Putin told the Prime Minister that he was very much enjoying his
visit to Israel, which he has been looking forward to for some
time. The Russian President said that his previous meetings with
the Prime Minister and the personal ties between them encouraged
him to visit Israel at the present time and added that he was
grateful to the Prime Minister for the opportunity to make the
On the Palestinian
issue, Prime Minister Sharon said that Israel was committed to
the Roadmap and expressed the hope that the Palestinians would
honor their commitments in order to pave the way to beginning
diplomatic negotiations on the Roadmap. He added that an international
conference would be held at the beginning of the second stage
of the Roadmap and not before.
Putin said that Russia’s intention was to propose a professional
meeting at the level of experts in order to advance the diplomatic
process in the region; in any case, no kind of forum would be
convened without Israel’s assent.
The two leaders
discussed the continued implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh
understandings and the need to take such steps as would strengthen
Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen.
Putin said that it would only be in coordination and agreement
with Israel that Russia would assist the Palestinian security
forces so that the latter might fight terrorism more efficiently.
Sharon reiterated Israel’s desire to coordinate various
elements of the Disengagement Plan with the Palestinian Authority
and said that he had charged Vice Premier Shimon Peres with the
responsibility of raising funds in order to assist Palestinian
economic recovery after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.
Sharon said that the Palestinians must fight against terrorist
infrastructures and disband the terrorist organizations, which
they have refrained from doing up until now. He added that Abu
Mazen is trying to reach understandings with the terrorist organizations
and integrate them into the political system without disbanding
them, which contravenes the Roadmap.
Sharon emphasized that without the full implementation of the
Palestinians’ commitments, there will be no diplomatic progress.
On the issue
of supplying missiles to Syria, he [Prime Minister Sharon] said
that Israel was concerned that new and sophisticated weapons were
liable to come into the possession of terrorist organizations.
He stressed the Syrian involvement in terrorism and said that
the problem was not the sale of the weapons per se but to whom
the weapons are sold.
Putin said that as long as he is President, Russia would do nothing
to harm Israel. Regarding the sale of SA-18’s, he said that
Russia was acting as responsibly as possible so as not to disturb
the military balance in the region and so as not to create a threat
against Israel. The Russian President said that the sale of these
missiles does not threaten Israel and emphasized that they could
not reach terrorist organizations, adding that Russia has taken
all necessary steps to assure this.
On the Iranian
issue, Prime Minister Sharon said that an Iranian military nuclear
capability constitutes a tangible and existential danger not only
to Israel but also to the Middle East, Europe and the rest of
the world. He added that nuclear weapons in the hands of extremist
elements constitutes a danger that must be prevented in any way
Putin emphasized that a nuclear Iran frightens Russia as much
as it frightens Israel and said that Russia would not help Iran
achieve a nuclear bomb. He added that on the Iranian issue, Russia
was Israel’s ally and called for cooperation in order to
prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
The two leaders
agreed to continue the enhancement of bilateral ties between the
two countries in the security, diplomatic and economic areas in
order to increase the level of cooperation and understanding.
They decided to establish a direct link between their respective
bureaus in order to increase cooperation between the two leaders.
They also discussed the Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah issues,
as well as Russia’s voting patterns at the UN and the advancement
of various bilateral issues.
At the end
of the meeting, Russian President Putin told Prime Minister Sharon
that he very much appreciated his determined stand in the struggle
against terrorism and his commitment to the security issue and
said that the terrorist organizations must receive no concessions
and must be shown no weakness. He stressed that Russia was Israel’s
strategic ally and said that bilateral relations must be exhausted
to their fullest and best potential.
Putin Visits Holocaust Memorial
RIA Novosti Photo
(RIA Novosti) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visited Israel.
During his visit he spent close on two hours at the Yad Vashem
Holocaust memorial, and laid a wreath in the Memory Hall, where
Holocaust victims are commemorated in a mourning ceremony tonight.Aaron
Schneider, Yad Vashem history researcher, was with President Putin
has a vast store of heart-rending mementoes of Jewish plight in
ghettos, and labor and death camps. It offers pathetic material
remembrances of desperate attempts to survive in the nazi hell,
Mr. Schneider said to the President. Mr. Putin’s tour started
with an exposition dedicated to one of the death camps the Soviet
Army liberated in 1944.
saw an arrangement of victims’ family snapshots, marriage certificates
and other papers found in the camp.
He went on
to a next room to see archive newsreels of books burned on the
stake in Berlin, and world classics miraculously rescued from
The room dedicated
to the Warsaw ghetto re-creates its main street, and offers a
display of photographs. Movie footages of the time are shown there
to mournful music for visitors to feel the authentic air.
Mr. Putin came over to the room dedicated to Jews exterminated
in German-occupied parts of the Soviet Union.
The next room
commemorates Jewish guerrillas of World War II.
Hall was the last the Russian President visited. Inscribed there
are the names of all Jews killed or victimized in the Holocaust.
went on to the Children’s Memorial, after which he made an entry
in the Visitors’ Book.
all Holocaust victims. Tragedies as that are never to repeat.
I thank all who cherish its memory and help the generations to
come never to forget it," Mr. Putin wrote.
Says He Will Help Rebuild Gaza Infrastructure
(IFM) Russian President Vladimir Putin said his
country would help rebuild Palestinian infrastructure in the Gaza
Strip, Ha’Aretz reported. Putin appeared to be offering
the Palestinians help in maintaining order and provide services
after Israel pulls out of Gaza this summer. Putin was speaking
at a joint news conference in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas after the two men met for several hours
at the end of Putin’s three-day visit to the region.
Putin is also
determined to arm the Palestinians, despite Israel’s objections,
Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister and Information Minister Nabil
Sha’ath told Saudi newspaper Al Watan. Palestinian officials indicated
that Putin’s plan to give the PA 50 armored personnel carriers
and two helicopters was subject to Israeli approval. Israeli approval
of Putin’s plan appears unlikely.
let’s see some steps toward peace and then it will be possible
to strengthen the Palestinian security forces, which are meanwhile
taking part in fighting against us," an Israeli government
Russia Ready for Nuclear Cooperation with Israel
(RIA Novosti) — Russia is prepared to develop peaceful nuclear
cooperation with Israel, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Israel does not need assistance in some
areas," he said. "As for developing peaceful nuclear
cooperation, we are ready to do it," he said at a press conference
He noted at the same time that Iran should terminate
its nuclear weapons technologies. "Iran should abandon its
nuclear weapons technologies and stop hindering IAEA control of
its nuclear facilities," he said.
The Russian president said that Russia planned
to sign an agreement on military-technical cooperation with Israel.
"We are for developing such cooperation and plan to sign
an agreement" in this sphere, he said.
Vladimir Putin said replying to a question: "If
we could sign an agreement with your assistance on the delivery
of Russian combat aircraft to Israel worth at least a couple of
billion of dollars, I would grant you the Russian order For Services
to the Homeland."
Russia Backs Palestinians’
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) — Russia backs the Palestinians’ lawful
aspirations, including their right to the creation of an independent
state "co-existing in peace and security with Israel",
Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told RIA
is prepared to continue, together with the Palestinian leaders,
active efforts for achieving peace and stability in the region
and further developing Russian-Palestinian ties," he noted.
In his words,
Russian-Palestinian cooperation has markedly intensified of late.
The sides’ principled approaches are close or coincide. "I
would like to note that they are represented most graphically
in the joint Russian-Palestinian statement adopted following the
result of the talks of PNA head Mahmoud Abbas in the Kremlin on
January 31, 2005," he said.
dialog is extending and cultural, business and inter-regional
contacts are being maintained, he noted. Quite a few Palestinians
are studying in Russian higher schools. Many of them receive Russian
other directions of extending cooperation, the diplomat said that
"the ways of further deepening foreign-policy cooperation,
intensifying cultural, religious and interparliamentary exchanges,
business partnership and implementing joint projects for the economic
restoration of Palestinian territories are being examined".
In his words, special attention is being paid to giving practical
assistance to the PNA in effecting reforms, restoring order in
Palestinian territories, forming a Palestinian state and solving
vital social and economic problems.
to Train, Equip Palestinian Security Forces
By Larry James
President Vladimir Putin said Friday his country will give equipment
and training to Palestinian security forces. Mr. Putin also offered
to help rebuild Palestinian areas damaged by four and a half years
of conflict with Israel. The statement came at a joint news conference
with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah at the end
of the Russian leader’s three-day visit to the region.
president said his country would help rebuild Palestinian infrastructure
in the Gaza Strip, an apparent offer to help maintain order and
provide services after Israel pulls out of Gaza this summer. He
called on both the Palestinians and Israelis to work to get the
peace process back on track.
whole civilized world is on this way and we hope that both Israel
and Palestine will also take the same way," he said.
For his part,
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said both sides should push
ahead and realize commmitments they have made.
insistent [we insist on] to achieve peace and we call [on] the
State of Israel to implement the Road Map, to speed up implementation
of [the] Sharm el Sheikh accord and to [re]inforce our efforts
for us and them," said Mahmoud Abbas. "It is a great
news conference, Mr. Putin said his country intends to continue
helping Iran develop its nuclear program, a program that he says
he believes has a peaceful intent.
have expressed concern that Iran would use the technology to make
nuclear weapons, a charge the Tehran government denies.
stressed that he believes the components of Iran’s program do
not threaten Israel’s security.
is the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel and the Palestinian
territories. He arrived at the offices of President Mahmoud Abbas
with a plan to sell 50 armored personnel carriers and two helicopters
to the Palestinians to replace vehicles destroyed during more
than four and one-half years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
objections to the armored vehicle sale leave its future in doubt
and Mr. Putin ended his stay with no mention of a sale.
the vehicles could fall into the hands of militants.
also came here with an offer to host a peace conference in Moscow.
The idea was welcomed by the Palestinians but rejected by Israel
and the United States. U.S. and Israeli officials say the time
is not right for such a meeting.
to Russian support for Iran’s nuclear program, Israel also objects
to Moscow’s plans to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.
said Thursday that Russian aid to Iran and Syria are not a threat
to Israel, although he acknowledged that Tehran must do more to
assure the world it is not building nuclear weapons.
Putin in Jerusalem Visits Russian Ecclesiastical
Mission But Not Wailing Wall
JERUSALEM (RIA Novosti) — Putin came to the Russian Ecclesiastical
mission late at night on Wednesday and stayed there for nearly
He wrote in
the guest book, "To the keepers of Orthodoxy and the interests
of the Russian State in the Holy Land."
press secretary Alexei Gromov said after that Putin voiced a desire
to visit the Wailing Wall. But the Israeli staff replied that
it would be difficult to ensure his security there and asked him
took Vladimir Putin and Archbishop Yelisei, head of the Russian
mission, to the observation site next to the Wailing Wall. The
Russian president met with the local clergy there, including a
rabbi who told Putin about the history of the site.
East "Roadmap" Has No
Alternative – Yakovenko Says
(RIA Novosti) — The Middle East "roadmap" remains "an
internationally-recognized plan without any alternative,"
Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign
Ministry, told RIA Novosti.
it is necessary to use the existing real possibility to resume
the peace process on the ‘roadmap’ basis," he said.
holds the view that "the fulfillment of the accords envisaged
by this document will put an end to confrontation, and will enable
both conflicting sides to attain mutually acceptable political
aims: the Palestinians – to set up their own viable, continuous,
sovereign and independent state, and the Israelis – to ensure
a secure life, to acquire a good neighbor."
forthcoming withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip and part
of the West Bank of the Jordan river is intended to launch the
‘roadmap.’ Both sides must fulfill the obligations they assumed,
and renounce any unilateral moves, which would torpedo the headway
to peace," the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry
to him, they proceed in Moscow from the idea that the peace process
must be uninterrupted.
stabilization of the situation must be followed by the other steps
envisaged by the ‘roadmap’, which throw a bridge to deciding the
questions of the final status," Yakovenko added.
Israel Satisfied with Putin’s Visit
AVIV (RIA Novosti) — A Russian head of state has visited Israel
for a first time throughout its history. President Putin’s sojourn
has entirely satisfied the host country. Israelis are sure the
visit will give a fresh impetus to bilateral cooperation.
was a very, very good visit. We think we have managed to ‘cement’
ever more firmly the contacts between Moscow and Jerusalem. We
had extremely fruitful talks with President Putin, and I can say
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has nothing but positive impressions
of them," Mark Regev, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman,
told RIA Novosti yesterday.
on the Jerusalem negotiation agenda was Russian-Iranian nuclear
industrial cooperation, and Russia’s prospects to export anti-aircraft
missile systems to Syria. Israel is taking both matters with a
great deal of apprehension.
tackled those issues, and we hope Russia now better understands
our position and our anxiety," said Regev.
He also commented
on his country’s opinions of a Russian intention to build up Palestinian
security forces. "Russia aims its efforts to promote the
Palestinian National Authority on the anti-terror cause. These
efforts enjoy our support. We have come to an understanding on
Russia to coordinate them with us," remarked the diplomat.
to export helicopters and liaison and communications means to
Palestine, and will assist it to train security forces, Putin
said as he was addressing a news conference in Palestine’s Ramallah,
yesterday. "We want this cooperation to be transparent, and
not to alarm Israel," he emphasized.
Wants to Discuss with Putin Above All
Cooperation with Iran and Syria
AVIV April 26 (RIA Novosti) — In Israel Russia’s cooperation
with Iran and Syria is understood not only as a reason for concern
but also as an incentive for the development of a sincere dialog
with the Russian side, Israeli presidential aide Ron Ben-Ishai
told RIA Novosti on eve of the first-ever visit by Russian President
Vladimir Putin to Israel.
begins on Wednesday.
is interested in Russia not to prompt, conscientiously or not,
the development of nuclear weapons in Iran. It is one of the weighty
reasons why Israel and Russia are interested in the development
of bilateral dialog", the interviewee said.
called the planned supplies of Russian antiaircraft missiles to
Syria "a source of great anxiety for many in Israel".
as in the case of the Iranian nuclear program, the main problem
for us is that such weapons and technologies may get into the
hands of terrorists. I think that the Israeli leaders would like
to have a direct talk with the Russian president", the presidential
Both the themes
are far from all to be in discussion.
may easily include at least 20 items in the list to be discussed,
Ben-Ishai said. They represent mutual interest: from the Middle
Eastern settlement, in which Russia is a prominent member of the
quartet of international go-betweens, to the concerns of the Russian-speaking
community, making up almost a quarter of the people of Israel;
from opposition to the common enemy in the person of world terrorism,
to shipments of Russian energy resources to Israel.
is why this visit is crucial", the interviewee said. "I
cannot think of a more important visit. I think in significance
it might be compared to the coming to Israel of the United States
President George Bush".